Scott & I have been engaged for almost a year now and the wedding plans are coming along...LIE!  Actually there are not many plans other than we have our location, a family barn located in Michigan.  I did a little dress shopping and was "wedding inspired" a feeling I'm sure will quickly pass.  It's very odd how into other weddings I can get but when it comes to my own I want little to do with it.  The thought of everyone staring at me as I walk down the aisle makes me want to break out in hives.  Needless to say I found a cute craft on pinterest that I thought would look gorgeous in the barn and had all the needed materials already on hand.  Let the crafting begin!

Thank you to A Place For Us for providing the idea and instructions.  I followed her steps to the letter and it was a very simple process!  For an array of flowers I played around with the number of petals and the shape of each flower.  Instead of leaving them a natural brown I wanted to go for a more polished, antique look so I used a little gold spray paint.  The end result was beautiful.  I was amazed at how the gold spray paint looked on the brown paper bags, not too gold just a enough to give it a golden shimmer.  Since I've already started decorating for the holiday season I added these to my mirror.  The brown paper next to my lighted rustic JOY sign matched perfectly!
The wait is finally over my homemade vanilla is done and ready to use. It was so fulfilling to open those bottles and smell that sweet creamy vanilla smell.

I found a couple of free printable Homemade Vanilla labels online but wasn't able to make them work with really cute Martha Stewart labels I bought at Staples. Yes it's true Martha is now EVERYWHERE, grocery stores, office supplies stores, and craft stores. There was a huge selection of labels in her line at staples. Labels that were dishwasher safe and perfect for canning, removable adhesive labels, and an array of colors, shapes and sizes. I was beyond excited to find kraft paper labels, these were the ones I decided on. After many attempts at trying to make one of the pre-designed labels fit I finally chose my sanity over a trendy homemade vanilla label design. After a slight meltdown over wireless printers and printer cartridges I was able to complete my labels, and I love them. If you could have seen the care I took in cleaning each bottle before applying the label you would have died laughing. One thing remains clear...I need a life!  

Here is the link to my original post with instructions included, click here.

Vanilla beans from Beanilla
4oz amber bottles from Rose Mountain Herbs
Labels from Martha Stewart Office (available at Staples)

Note: I used 3 bottles of 750ml bottles of vodka and got 17 4 oz bottles of vanilla from them.  I did have to dump some vodka out when I put the vanilla beans in the jar.  Next time I would transfer the vodka and beans to mason jars.

Below are some links to the free labels templates I found:
Style Me Pretty
Marry This
Live Laugh Rowe
Simply Notable

A twist of fall added into this classic cookie favorite.  It's that time of year, fall is here and I have of course turned into a pumpkin whore.  I will add it into anything and everything I can.  Even our dog, Winston, enjoys pumpkin in his bowl during this time of year.  After searching for some new recipes to try I ran across this recipe on one of my favorite blogs, Annie's Eats.  How does one resist a recipe like pumpkin snickerdoodles?  Exactly...

The texture of this cookie is absolutely amazing.  Adding pumpkin into this recipe makes these cookies more cake like.   However I wish the cookie had more pumpkin flavor, it was hard to taste it at all.  I read a couple of the reviews and some people suggested adding pumpkin pie spice into the cookie dough as well.  Adding more pumpkin would change the consistency of the dough and cause trouble when baking.  Otherwise it was a great recipe, they baked perfectly and tasted great.  I considered not sharing this recipe but decided it was really a great cookie that I'm sure you will enjoy.  Click on the link below for Annie's recipe.

Pumpkin Snickerdoodle,Cookies by Annie's Eats.

I made this ribbon yo yo headband for Maya to go with her Candy Corn Onesie. There were some ribbon yo yo's left over so I attached them to her onesie for some added flare. These are so easy to make and look great on hairclips, bows, headbands, or ponytail elastics. Great way to make some cute handmade holiday hair accessories for your little ones.

Ribbon Yo Yo Headband

- Grosgrain Ribbon (4-6 inches)
- Needle & Thread (color matched to ribbon)
- Scissors
- Lighter

1. Cut your ribbon to your desired length, doesn't need to be very long.
2. Using the lighter quickly run along the ends of your ribbon. This will seal the ends and prevent them from fraying.
3. Thread your needle and knot the end.
4. Starting with the designed side of your ribbon weave the needle in and out of the ribbon along one side.
5. Scrunch the ribbon together tightly.
6. Turn your yo yo over, take your needle through the other end of the ribbon to attach both ends together, you should now have a circle.
7. Pull tight and knot off your thread.
8. Cut any extra thread off.

Now using hot glue you can attach this to a lined alligator clip, for instructions on lined clips see our tutorial here, or attach to a head band. For a double yo yo, create a second yo yo using a smaller width ribbon and the two yo yo's together.

If you've been on pinterest lately you couldn't miss the adorable Candy Corn Onesie by The Swell Life that has been pinned a thousand times.  As soon as I saw it I knew that it was a must for Maddie's fall wardrobe.  I made a t-shirt for Maddie and a onesie for her little friend Maya along with a cute headband, directions coming soon.  I only ruined one onesie before I was able to figure it out.  For the instructions click here.

Katie's Tips:
*Make sure to ring out your shirt or onesie.  If it's too wet the dye is more likely to spread quicker and father.
*The dye is going to travel, make your orange band first and wait a few minutes before dying your yellow band.  Start off with a smaller band, you can always add more dye. 
*Buy the one step dye kits, they are so easy and there is no mess to clean up!
*When drying lay not hang over a sink like I did.  The dye will continue to travel and ruin yet another shirt or onesie.  
*Buy an extra shirt/onesie :)

Finally!!!  The pumpkin wreath kits are ready and available through our store.  Typically I'm not really a huge fan of cheesy holiday decor but I must say these are fun without looking corny.  Create your own Poly Mesh Pumpkin wreath just in time for fall.  The kits have all the supplies you need to create a 20" x 20" pumpkin wreath, including instructions.  Click here to visit our store.

Kit List:
Orange Mesh
Green Mesh (3 shades)
Wire Wreath Frame (with custom center)
Chenille Stems (orange & green) 
Glitter Sticks
Step by Step Instructions

Here's a photo from a recent Ladies Craft Night hosted party in Michigan.  The ladies had a great time and their wreaths turned out beautiful.  Great idea for a Ladies Craft Night of your own!  
Is there anything better than sleeping in on a Saturday morning, waking up with a house full of family, your beautiful niece, and sitting around the table eating breakfast together?  Not much!  We've got family in town visiting and it's been so nice to finally have a house of our own for them to stay.  I of course saw an opportunity to try out a new recipe I've been dying to make, pumpkin cream cheese by Pinch My Salt.  For breakfast this morning it was pumpkin bagels, pumpkin cream cheese, turkey bacon, fruit, and of course coffee.  The cream cheese was a hit and was very simple to make.  I managed to pull it together by 8am after a long work week and before my first cup of coffee...success!!!  if your looking for some fun food ideas check out their blog, click here.

Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Spread by Pinch My Salt

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. In a small bowl, beat softened cream cheese, sugar, and syrup til creamy.
2. Add pumpkin, spices and vanilla and beat til smooth.
3. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
4. Enjoy!

Finally it started cooling off in California and the boxes that have filled our home since we moved in are slowly being unpacked and put away.  This was the first week I was able to actually go in the kitchen and cook.  I was feeling inspired by fall so I decided on macaroni, bonus it's one of Scott's favorite meals!  Lately I've been trying to find ways to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into our meals.  The idea of taking an old classic and putting a healthy twist on it really makes me happy. 

When I fell across this recipe for Butternut Squash Macaroni with Apple & Caramelized Onions from Pinch of Yum, I was a bit skeptical.  However I am now a changed women, it's to die for!!!  I'm not sure I can ever look at regular mac & cheese the same.  There was so much flavor from the squash to the caramelized onions and the apple added great texture.  The lack of cheese in the whole dish also got me excited since I've been trying to stay away from dairy.

Click here for the recipe and directions!

Notes from Katie:
I had a hard time finding canned butternut squash puree, instead I used froze squash from the freezer section.  Bacon....skipped it completely!  Not a huge fan of pork so we typically eat turkey bacon, and I just didn't feel like it needed it.