Thursday, October 28, 2010

You've been "Booed"!

One of our favorite Halloween traditions is "Booing" our neighbors. It is something that my family always did as a kid, and I love continuing it with my children. In case you aren't familiar with "Booing", let me explain. Make three plates of goodies; make three ghost signs with directions and attach one to each plate; pick your victims; doorbell ditch the goods on their porches. Those people will then have a day to "Boo" three more people, and the cycle continues until the whole neighborhood has had a turn. Once you've been "Booed", hang the ghost sign on your door so that the neighborhood phantom will pass you by. Fun!

This was the first year that my kids have been old enough to actually help us drop the plates and run. It was hilarious to see them trying to run away as fast as they could. They were pretty fast!

Here is the poem that we like to use. Happy Haunting!

Since this is the time for goblins and bats
Halloween spirits and ghosts and cats
Happenings are weird and witches make brew
The following are the things I wish for you.
May the only spirit you chance to meet
Be the spirit of love and friends that are sweet.
May the only goblin that comes your way
Be the neighborhood phantom, the breeze takes away.
So by tomorrow, pick three friends down the street
And give to them a Halloween treat.
Hang this sign on their front door
Then leave your treats on the porch floor.
You only have one day to do this, so hurry
Leave treats on their doorstep and run in a flurry!
As this sign moves along from friend to friend,
All good wishes go on and never end!
Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

pumpkin time

I love Fall!  I really do!  It is, by far, my favorite season.  I never really appreciated fall until I was pregnant with my first child and about to pop.  I'm not really sure why I, all of the sudden, decided to love fall, but I think it was because of the wonderful food.  Pregnancy can really make you appreciate food more than you ever thought you could. 

I love the crisp air, sweaters, jackets, hot cocoa, cookies and, most of all, soup with fresh baked bread.  This year, for the first time, I decided to save my pumpkin seeds and roast them in the oven.  They are so tasty and I will, for sure, be making this a yearly tradition.  The only part I don't enjoy is getting the seeds out.  Maybe one day my kids will actually enjoy putting their own hands inside the pumpkin.

The one activity I really dislike is carving the pumpkins.  I'm not a scrooge, I promise.  The thing with carving is that I get stuck carving all of the pumpkins.  The kids choose a picture with the idea that they will help me and their father carve the pumpkin.  What usually happens?  I carve the pumpkins while they play video games with their dad.  At least that's what happened last night.  It must be awesome being them!

If you ever want to roast pumpkin seeds it's so easy.  Just rinse them off and let them dry out overnight.  I then melted about a teaspoon of butter, mixed it with 1 teaspoon olive oil and tossed my seeds with the mixture.  Lay them flat on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with salt.  I also sprinkled mine with a bit of garlic salt.  Roast in a 300 degree oven for about 40-45 minutes.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Staker Sensations Vinyl Giveaway!

We are thrilled to announce our latest giveaway -- Shannon, from Staker Sensations Vinyl, is giving away a $30 gift certificate /credit to her shop!!!

Shannon creates a wide variety of vinyl decals that are the perfect solution for a boring wall -- there is definitely something for everyone.

This is a cute little flower chalkboard decal!

Many of Shannon's creations can be used to create crafts (are you thinking what I am thinking? Christmas presents!)
These silhouette plates are created using your child's head!

These images represent only a small selection of the many items Shannon has for sale in her shop. She also hosts an incredible blog, Shannon Makes Stuff, where she posts tutorials. This girl can pretty much create anything -- and she'll show you how so that you can too! Go check her out!

{Giveaway Rules}
To enter you must visit Shannon's Etsy shop and tell us your favorite item in the comments section of this post.

Additional entries (leave one comment for each entry please):
*Become a follower of this blog, The Pretty Poppy.
*Become a follower of Shannon's blog, Shannon Makes Stuff
*Blog about this giveaway
*Post this giveaway on Facebook
*Tweet about this giveaway

Giveaway closes at midnight on Monday, November 1st. Giveaway winner will be announced on Tuesday, November 2nd. Happy entering!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Copy Cat Chic

Wanted to pass along this fun little web site: Copy Cat Chic. If you love the look of designer furniture, but don't love the price tag that comes along with it, head on over to this site where Reichel shares her incredible "look alike" finds. For instance:

Safavieh's Colin Chair = $695
Versus the copy cat find...Overstock's Manchester Club Chair = $305.99

Could have fooled me! Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Stencils versus Wallpaper

{Image via Whitewall and Co. website}

I love pretty wallpaper. It seems over the last few years, wallpapering has made quite a comeback. There are so many gorgeous designs. They even sell "temporary" wallpaper that you can peel off the wall when you get tired of it or have to move. I have come THIS CLOSE to wallpapering a few areas in my house, but I can't get over the cost factor. As always, it seems that the designs I like are always about a zillion dollars outside of my price range. Enter the stencil. The other day, I stumbled across Whitewall and Co. This ingenious company manufactures high quality stencils in really amazing patterns. It seems to me that it would take about the same amount of time as installing wallpaper, but for a fraction of the cost. I am very tempted! Their website has a feature that allows you to preview your image with different wall and stencil colors. Cool! Has anyone ever tried this before?

Monday, October 18, 2010


I have the strangest things happen to me all of the time.  I'm not exaggerating here, at all!  I have so many stories I could tell, but today I'm going to talk about what's been going on as of lately.  Lucky for me my husband does all of the grocery shopping.  It's great!  Why does he do the grocery shopping?  Because I hate coupons and I refuse to use them.  Yes, it saves you money, but I just don't want to do it.  He, on the other hand, loves the savings, so he has taken on the role of the "grocery shopper".  He also tells me I turn ADD the moment I step foot in the supermarket.  I do.  I'm not sure why, but I think it's because it's just too much stuff in one place. Add kids to the mix and my brain can't handle it. 

In the past few weeks I've actually done some of the shopping and I've had the same experience three different times.  Three different times when I've gone to look at something and I pick it up, the bag has been opened by somebody else and the items inside spill out all over the floor.  Crazy, I tell you!  The first time I wanted to be a responsible citizen, so I kept the item and took it to the register so that some other innocent, shopper wouldn't have the same experience as myself.  When I handed it over to the checker and I explained to her what had happened, she looked at me like I was an idiot and couldn't understand why I brought the item to her.  I then had to explain my reason for keeping it.  The second and third times, I can't say I was so nice.  I've decided this is a sign.  A sign for me to stay away from the grocery department and leave the shopping to my husband.  Sounds good to me!  Does anybody else have any strange experiences?  Please do share so I know it's not just me.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


I love traditions. With Fall upon us and Winter quickly approaching, I have this topic on my mind frequently. Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas have so many fun traditions associated with them, and I am excited to share them with my children this year.

Last night as we were looking at old pictures, I came across this one:
This is a picture of my husband and I on our fifth anniversary. I was about a week away from giving birth to our daughter. Every year on our anniversary, my husband and I take a picture holding up fingers representing the number of years we've been married. Wonder how we'll do that once we get past 20 years? ;)They are typically the worst photos taken of me every year, as we usually get around to it at midnight or so before we go to bed. Nevertheless, it is definitely one of my favorite traditions, and I can't wait until we have a whole stack of them to look at. I envision myself making some sort of collage when we reach our 40th.

This past year, we were lucky enough to be in Amsterdam on our anniversary.

What about you? What are some of your favorite traditions?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


One word...Pandora! I really do love it. Each night while tucking in my baby girl, I play her a few tunes from one of my many Pandora radio stations. All of this is done from my smart phone. Amazing, I tell you! If you don't have a Pandora account, get one! Movie quote trivia!!...Heidi, minus "Pandora account", what movie is that last line from? Let's see if she can get it! Hopefully I quoted it right.

Anyway, while listening to tunes this sweet little song popped up and I fell in love with it. It's titled, "The Show" and the artist is Lenka. See what Pandora can introduce us too? Thank you Pandora! Go listen to the song! It's cute and catchy.

I would put the youtube box thingy on this post, but I really have no idea how to do that. I leave the technical stuff to Heidi! Heidi, can you do a tutorial on that?


Monday, October 11, 2010

How to hem jeans using the original hem..the best way!!

This little technique has saved me hundreds of dollars!  I'm not even kidding.  My alterations place charges $25 for a jean hem using the original hem.  Ouch!  I'm only 5'2 so you can imagine the dent this can make in my wallet.  I have tried the whole fold the jean over and stitch as close to the seam trick and, to be honest, I hate it!  While inspecting a friend's jeans who had just had them altered, I figured out the trick.  This may look daunting, but, believe me, it's not.  It's really quite simple once you get the hang of it.  The five most important tools needed to accomplish this task are:
a seam ripper

a ruler of some sort to measure.  My favorite, by far, is the sewing guage.  A must!

 Jean thread.  I get my thread from JoAnn's.  The only thread I ever buy from there is Gutermann's.  They have three different colors of Jean thread.  I have all three and I wish they had even more of a selection.  Oh I wish they had really light blue.  A pair of scissors and, lastly, you will need to pull out that trusted sewing machine!

Measuring is the MOST important part of this project.  Please, please make sure you measure right.  You will need to try on your jeans with the tallest shoes you will wear them with.  Fold them up where you want them and remove them to do the pencil marking.  With this sort of hemming, you will cut your jeans off at exactly the length you wish them to be.  If you are unsure, always go a bit longer.  Once you cut, you cannot add more length.  Be careful!!  The best way to mark your jeans is to figure out, in inches, the amount you would like cuttoff.  I then measure all of the way around from the bottom of the jeans.

This is how it looks once you have marked completely around the jeans.  I do not draw a line, but you can if you want.

Pick up your scissors and make a tiny slit right on one of your markings.

This is about how big I make my slit.

Slide your scissors into the slit and cut around the jeans, kind of like dot to dot, but slit to slit.

Once you've completed cutting around the jeans, pick up the cut off part and cut down the jean, I usually do this by the seam.  Cut down until you are about a half inch away from the top of the original hem, as pictured.

I then cut all of the way around the jean, 1/2 inch away from the top of the hem.

This is how the hem now looks and it's almost ready to reattach.

Before we can reattach, we must rip out the original stitching.  Do this by sliding your seam ripper under the stitch and sliding it up and out until the thread snaps. 

This is how the hem will now look after all of the stitches have been removed.  This can kind of be a bugger sometimes.  Especially on the two, thick seams on the sides.  The above picture is of the piece right side out.

You now need to flip the hem inside out, as pictured.

Take your jeans and the orginal hem and lay the jeans on your lap.

I then cut two slits on either side of the thick seam.  Just slit it and stop at the top of the fold.  The reason I do this is because when I fold the jeans over again, as I will show you in the next picture, I don't want to have to stitch through that thick area of the jean.

Open up your hem, as pictured above.  Unfold it one time and leave the second fold that is under my thumb in the picture.
Now take your hem and fold the cut side over to match up to the bottom of the other fold.

You will then take your jeans and lay it on top of the piece you just folded over, matching it up at the crease of the bottom of the hem.  I really hope this makes sense.

This is the jean layed on top of the fold and then you will fold the piece that is under my thumb over the top of the jean.  This sandwiches the jean in the middle of the hem.  Pin this is place.

Do this all of the way around the leg, making sure you have the right seams matched up at the sides.

This is how it will look from the outside.

And this is how it looks from the inside.

Once you have pinned completely around, you are ready to sew into place.

I have to have my machine on the highest tension and make sure you have an extremely thick needle or it will not be able to make it through the thick seams.  I usually begin right before the thickest piece.  Begin stitching and make sure you back stitch before you continue on.  As you stitch through the very thick seam, go very slowly.  I have to go stitch by stitch.  I cannot just press on my pedal, but I tap one stitch at a time, just through that really thick part.

Make sure that you are stitching close to the edge of the hem.  I line my jeans up with the inside edge of the first, slender tab on my foot, as pictured above.  This places the stitches in the perfect position.  Just play around with it until you figure it out.  Remember, if you mess up on this part, you can always take it out and start over.  You will probably have to too.  I did, but once I had done it once or twice, I can do it no problem!

Stitch completely around the leg, back stitching at the end, and this is the end result.

A professional hem that you did all on your own!

Please excuse the ugly cushion.  I really do plan on recovering them in the future.  Please let me know if something doesn't make sense.  This is very hard to explain.  Easy to do, but hard to explain.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

All things vintage!

While blog hopping from my brother's blog tonight, I found the cutest, little, vintage etsy shop. Orange twine has some great items for sale. Pictured above, has to be my favorite. I have been searching for vintage milk bottles as of lately and, what do you know! The shop has all sorts of great items; purses, jewelry, name it, they probably have it! You can also get to know them better by visiting their blog. Go take a peek!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Weekend Plans

The weather here in Arizona is finally, finally, finally cooling off. I'm not sure what the temperature is, but I do know that it's not in the triple digits and that I can stand comfortably outside without being covered in sweat. Hooray!

This week has been insanely busy for me. Now that things are winding down, I am looking forward to a relaxing weekend with my family. My kids are still all very young and get really excited for every holiday. I try to decorate and do fun activities with them, mainly because I love their innocence and how the smallest things can make them so very excited. I am thinking about making these little pizza mummies or these banana ghosts (I love the Family Fun website).

My children also adore books, so I am thinking of starting this cute tradition that I saw on Design Mom's website, which involves reading spooky stories by candlelight before bedtime. One of our favs is Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson.Finally, I should probably start thinking about tackling this:
Yep, that's what happens when you aren't home pretty much all week. Lots o' laundry. Yikes!

Have a good weekend everyone! What are your fun plans?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Giveaway winner announced!

A huge thanks to everyone who entered our Vintage AdaElle Giveaway. We are excited to welcome all of our new followers and hope you will enjoy what you find here at The Pretty Poppy Blog.

And now, for the winner of the Vintage AdaElle necklace, vintage inspired rosette earrings and $50 gift card to Anthropologie:

Congratulations to Aubri who said "I am so into those vintage inspired earrings right now. I love them all!"

Please email us at within 24 hours to work out the details of your gifts. A new winner will be selected if no contact is made by 11:30am PST, Thursday October 7th.

For those who didn't win, head on over to Tatertots and Jello, where the lovely Jen is hosting another giveaway to win a $40 gift card to our Pretty Poppy Etsy store.

Thanks again to all of you!!! Stay tuned for more fun giveaways we have planned in the near future.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Anthro giftcard is on the table!

Hooray! You guys did it! We have surpassed 250 followers, which is so exciting for us (thank you! We are certain our readers are the best out there.) It is also exciting news for you, as it means that now in addition to receiving a Vintage AdaElle necklace and rosette earrings, the winner of our giveaway will also get a $50 gift card to Anthropologie.

So happy for that lucky person! It could be you! If you haven't already entered, you still have until midnight tonight. Enter right here. Until then, here are some cute items I saw on the Anthro website this morning. Got to love window shopping at that fun little store!