How to Preserve Pumpkins

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I do this trick EVERY YEAR when we bring our pumpkins home and they last well through Thanksgiving until I’m ready to throw them away! Maybe even through Christmas… don’t ask me how I know that.. I first found this idea on @missyrakes’s blog: Graceful Little Honey Bee. All credit to her! It’ll save those little (or big!) beauties!

“How to Preserve Pumpkins for Décor or Storage

1. Fill your sink with water and add 1 tbsp dish soap per gallon.

(You may also add 1 tbsp bleach per gallon of water if desired)

2. Let pumpkins soak 5 minutes. This kills any bacteria on the surface of the pumpkin that can lead to early rot.

3. Gently remove any visible dirt with your hands or a soft scrub brush.

4. Rinse pumpkins and dry thoroughly. Moisture is not your pumpkin’s friend.

*If you are using your pumpkins for decorating purposes then you are finished!*”

Thank you, Missy!!

EDITED TO ADD: I had also read somewhere to put petroleum jelly (Vaseline) on them. So after they’re done drying, I rub it on. Swear by it!

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Happy Fall, y’all!

XOXO

Lauren

Halloween Book Wall

We’ve finally finished curating our Halloween book wall for this year! If you’ve been following my Instagram stories @SayingItSouthern, you’ve seen that we’ve been budgeting a book a week to spread out the cost! We plan to add a book or two each year, but this was great to get our collection started.

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All of our book recommendations either came from wildly popular reviews on Amazon or rave reviews from friends!

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To decorate the shelves, I created a simple paper banner that cost no more than $4. FOUR DOLLARS! I went to Hobby Lobby and, in their scrapbooking section, picked up a few pieces of black/white/orange scrapbook paper. I cut them into strips and then cut out a pennant flag at the bottom to give it some character. And voila! Strung them on some twine and they were done!

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Here are the books that we chose:

1. The Ugly Pumpkin

2. Pick a Pumpkin

3. Big Pumpkin

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4. Bone Soup

5. How To Make Friends With A Ghost

6. Bonaparte

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7. Room on the Broom

8. The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything

9. Stumpkin

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I hope that gives you an idea of some frightening and festive kids books to start or add to your own collection! I’d love to hear any other recommendations to add to ours for next year!

XOXO

Lauren

Kids Bathroom Moodboard

If you follow my Instagram stories (@sayingitsouthern) which I highly suggest you do (wink wink), you would know that my husband and I are re-doing our girls’ bathroom! Our house is about 13 year olds, and we knew when we moved in two years ago that we would eventually re-do things like the flooring and tile backsplashes that are terribly outdated. I’m so excited to finally put to paper (or photoshop) all of the ideas and plans that we have for the girls’ bathroom. It’s been such a big learning curve for us in the world of DIY and definitely one that I am grateful for. I will also add that you’re not seeing double with the images below! I posted both to show the contrast with the mirrors and to get your thoughts.bathroommoodboardrattan

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Flooring: the flooring has been the easiest decision thus far. We went with this porcelain tile that looks like calacatta marble. I am a neutrals girl through and through so the simple and classic white and gray just made sense.

Board and batten: we just finished doing a board and batten wall in my daughter’s nursery (more on that in a future post!) and I fell in love! I want to board and batten the whole house! I’ve typically seen board and batten painted white with a contrasting wall color. But I feel like it is becoming more and more common to paint the board and batten a contrasting color against a white wall. I’m here for this trend! We painted our daughter’s board and batten pink against a white wall, and it is so dreamy! For the bathroom, I want to do a taupe color.

Vanity: the original vanity sat on the ground. But because we are re-doing the flooring as well, I felt like I had the freedom to do a floating vanity so I’m running with it! Our girls are still little and are in constant need of a stool, so I envisioned the floating vanity storing a stool underneath when guests or adults are occupying it and see no need for it. It’ll just slide right under!

Faucet: I feel like black is very on trend, especially with the midcentury modern and moody vibes I’m seeing. But the timelessness and class of brass (get it? I’m so funny…) will always have my heart. I want a light and airy vibe in the bathroom, so a light metal was a natural fit.

Mirror: this is where I need some help! A trend that I haven’t fully embraced is the idea of mixing metals: i.e. gold faucet, silver light fixture. Because the light fixture and faucet will be gold, I don’t necessarily want a gold mirror. That just feels like too much. But I’m not sure what looks better. In the moodboards (above) I’ve done both black and rattan. What’s your vote?

Light fixture: as with the faucet, a gold/brass light fixture was my first choice. I want the room to feel airy, light, classic and chic. Because the vanity is so dark and masculine with the wood tones, everything else needed to be pretty light to give a more feminine vibe overall.

Bathtub: we are actually keeping the original bathtub and just having it resurfaced. My girls are still very little, so a standalone shower doesn’t make sense. A combination works great for our little ones and any guests.

Shower tile: if I’m being completely honest, I keep going back and forth on this taupe hexagon mosaic tile. So I’m not even certain that it will be this tile when we are done. But I do want some taupe-y neutral to coordinate with the color on the board and batten. I’m not sure where my love of taupe is coming from lately, but I’m a big fan!

Wall art: I purchased the wall art from a small business that is actually no longer selling it, so I’m glad I grabbed it when I did! It came as unfinished wood so I am going to paint it black. I thought it would be a cute reminder for my girls of what they need to do. More cute sign, less mom nagging! Wink!

And there it is! Our moodboard and vision for the bathroom! If you have some thoughts on which mirror to go with (or maybe a completely different one altogether!) I’d love to hear it!

XOXO

Lauren

 

DIY Halloween Spider Wall

If you would have walked through my house of Halloween pasts, there wouldn’t have been a cobweb, spider or skeleton in sight! What a fright! Around this time of year, I’ve always been full speed ahead on Fall and Thanksgiving decor! All of the pumpkins, wheat, apple or pumpkin scented candles, and mums. HEAVEN. So, needless to say, Halloween decor was never a priority. But thanks to my friend, Nichole and her Halloween inspiration (@nichole_mallett) I am starting to love Halloween decor!

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Her Halloween stash is ghoul goals, and she’s given me a few tips along the way! It is definitely something that you add onto every year. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and a good holiday decor collection isn’t either! This year, I’m starting with an affordable and easy spooky spider wall.

THE GRAND TOTAL: $8. No typo!

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Walmart and the Dollar Tree have been my go-tos this season for a Halloween decor stash on a budget. I found all twelve glittery spiders for my twelve frames in packs of two at the Dollar Tree. So if you’re keeping score, 6 packs = $6. I bought two packs of the webbing for $1 each so webbing = $2 for a grand total of $8.

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Our Dollar Tree was cleaned out pretty good, and I managed to get the last packs of black spiders. They also had purple and brown. But I’m a sucker for black and white, so black wasn’t a question! From the picture below, you can see that the finish had already started to come off before getting them home.. hence why they were probably one of the remaining packs left. I want these spiders to last for years to come, so I knew a little DIY was in order.

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I got some black glitter spray paint from Michaels (and used my 40% off coupon always) to add some more sparkle and cover the holes in the finish. I feel like spray paint (and glitter to boot) is a DIY craft closet essential, so I wasn’t mad about adding it to my collection.

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I did three coats on all twelve spiders to make sure that they would be extra sparkly. Was three necessary? Probably not. But, ahem, I’m one to be extra. *snaps* They took less than a day to dry. Granted, we are still rocking 90 degree temps here in Texas, so they basically baked in an outdoor oven. But assembly inside took no more than 30 minutes! I’ve got a fun timelapse video on my Instagram @SayingItSouthern to show the process!

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To get the webbing on the picture frame, I cut a piece a little larger than the frame. The webbing stretches very easily, so I began by tucking it behind one corner of the frame, giving it a tug, and tucking it behind the rest of the corners. No command strips, tape or another adhesive necessary. Because the webbing has a lot of holes between threads, I was able to just stick spider legs or antennas through the threads without gluing or taping those down either. Super easy! The wall has been up for a few days and not one spider has fallen! Am I about to jinx it?!

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I love how they turned out and I’m so grateful to my friend, Nichole, for putting the spell on my house and all things Halloween! My ghouls.. I mean “girls”… are loving it too!

XOXO Lauren

Baby bath time essentials

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It’s been a while since I shared some of my favorite products, and these ones are all about baby and bath time. They are tried and true in our house, have great reviews (I’m picky about those stars!) and are budget-friendly!

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favorite baby bath towel

Our cute ZappyDoo hooded bath towel bacame a fast favorite. It is a super soft bamboo towel that stays soft wash after wash. It feels thicker than the other baby towels we’ve used and doesn’t fall apart after one use. It would make such a good baby shower gift, if not for your own little one! The awesome people at ZappyDoo gave me a code for 30% off to share with you! CODE: ITSOUTHERN30 on Amazon this week only!

favorite baby bath tub

Next up is our baby bath tub. It comes in gray, pink and blue. We have the pink because #girlmom. What I love most about this tub is that it is a great transitional tub. We were able to use it with our newborn as well as now ten months later when she wants to sit but cannot sit independently in the bath tub without falling. It gives her the support to sit up and the freedom to play.

favorite baby care products

Finally are our Hello Bello baby products. We currently use and love their affordable wipes, lavender lotion, diaper cream, shampoo, body wash, bubble bath and bug spray. I love that they’re easily found at Walmart, are a price that doesn’t break the bank and are made of clean and safe ingredients. Checks all the boxes for me!

I hope this list helps if you’re in the market for any of these products. And don’t forget to use that coupon code before it expires!

XOXO

Lauren