Turtle cupcakes…easy!

As you know I’m the birthday cupcake maker at work! We had two birthdays in October. I usually let hem pick what flavor they want. They said just surprise us and use what you have on hand. So I went to the pantry and came up with turtle cupcakes! I’m a semi homemade kinda cupcake maker….I mean why do all the measuring when they do it for you right?? 😉

rted with a devils food box cake mix and followed the instructions other than I add instant coffee to the water (this gives the chocolate a deeper flavor) and I always sub Greek yogurt for the oil. This makes them healthy right…😂

Another tip is I always use an ice cream scoop to control the size of the cupcakes. It’s a perfect amount for a nice size cupcake and it makes them relatively uniform in size!

Then I bake according to the directions. In my oven they are usually done on the low end of the bake time recommendations.

After they have baked and cooled I cut a small cone out of the center of each cupcake. This will give space to fill the cupcakes with carmel (keep the cone to replace after filling) I could make my own carmel but the stuff they pour over ice cream is pretty tasty don’t you think?? (Sorry I didn’t get pics of the last two steps as this post was an afterthought…😏)

After all the the cupcakes are filled replace the cone into the cupcake and then they are ready to frost! I used a dark chocolate buttercream (recipe below) But don’t feel bad if you decide to use ready made frosting it’s pretty tasty too!

After they are frosted I sprinkled chopped pecans and drizzled more carmel sauce over each cupcake! The girls loved these cupcakes and a few of them said they were their favorite that I have made them! Hope you give this recipe a try! If you do let me know how they turned out!!

Dark Chocolate Buttercream


2 sticks salted butter

1/2 cup cocoa powder

3 to 3-1/2 cups powdered sugar

3 tablespoons milk or cream

2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • With a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy – about 2 minutes.
  • Add confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder, milk, and vanilla extract with the mixer running on low.
  • Increase to high speed and beat for 3 full minutes. Add up to 1/2 cup more confectioners’ sugar if frosting is too thin or another Tablespoon of milk if frosting is too thick.

This makes enough to frost 12-16 cupcakes.

It’s getting spooky in here…

I have been inspired by two of my fellow blogger friends to do a blog post about my Halloween decor this year! They are Amber of https://followtheyellowbrickhome.com/ and Olivia of https://reinventedcollection.com/ I urge you to go check out their blogs! They are beautiful!!

I have done my Halloween decorating this year on the cheap with bats cut from card stock, dollar store items and things snagged on clearance last year after Halloween!

💀🦇 👻🎃

So first I cleared off the mantle to have a blank slate First I added the giant spider to the mirror Then I added the netting and some battery operated twinkle lights (the mercury glass didn’t make the cut 😉)

Then came the creative part! I put some dollar store skulls and tea lights in the lanterns,

Attached some black birds to the lanterns,

Added some black candles in some of my collection of old silver candlesticks

I sprinkled some hairy spiders around!

Of course I had to add a colony of the card stock bats to the wall with sticky tack!

I can’t forget about the rubber rat that has been in the family for I don’t know how long 😂

So here is the finished product in all it’s spooktacular glory!

There are no rules when it comes to how or what you decorate with for Halloween! I suggest you look around at what you have and how you can tweak it to make it fit into your Halloween decor whether it’s fun or spooky! It’s also a great time to get the kids involved have them cut out card stock bats, pumpkins or ghosts to decorate with. 🦇👻🎃

I hope I have given you some ideas on how to do a budget friendly Halloween mantle! Enjoy and Happy Halloween🎃

Also, I’m joining the Hauntingly Beautiful Decor Halloween Link Party and you can too! By visiting my friends:




I hope you decide to join in the spooktacular fun!

Cheap and Easy Headboard Re-do…

I have been wanting to change the slipcover on my headboard for the fall.

I am in love with buffalo check and have been looking at fabric to cover it with. As you know, I am big into using curtain panels or shower curtains as fabric for home decor projects. It’s usually cheaper than buying yardage and its good quality fabric and normally wider too! The easiest thing to cover it with is a shower curtain sewn together! We have a queen size bed and I diy’d the headboard several years ago. The shower curtain is perfect size and is relatively inexpensive. But I haven’t been able to find what I was looking for… so I was grocery shopping the other day, at Meijer, and came across a twin sheet set on clearance in this small buffalo check for $6.

So I snapped it up and thought I would sew a slipcover for it from the flat sheet. But I wanted to try it out first. I draped the sheet over my head board and put on a new gray quilt I had been saving for fall.

Well the quilt had this flat cotton ribbon around it…then the light bulb went off in my head and waalaa with very little effort, a few cuts and safety pins I added the ties to the sides!

Now I have a new headboard cover!

I know it’s a subtle change but I can’t be more happy with it and I have the pillow cases and fitted sheet to spare! Just waiting for that light bulb to go off again!

Favorite new side dish! Grilled Romaine…

I may be late to the game but I have discovered Grilled Romaine this summer and just can't get enough of it! It's so easy, it's healthy and tastes great!

Here's the recipe!

  • Romaine heads (1 usually serves 2)
  • Olive oil
  • Cajun spice mix ( I use 'Slap ya' Mama)
  1. Slice Romaine heads lengthwise
  2. Wash and pat dry
  3. Brush with olive oil on both sides
  4. Season with spice mix or desired spices
  5. Grill cut side down until grill marks appear then flip and grill until desired tenderness

I serve mine with homemade balsamic vinaigrette and sprinkle with fat free feta cheese!


Easy Spring Strawberry Cupcakes….

I was asked by a friend to make cupcakes for a shower she washosting last week. She needed 48 and wanted them to be strawberry 🍓 So off to Pinterest I went. After looking at several recipes I came up with a plan! Since I had to make so many I decided to go the easy route and use a box mix as my base. I adapted it to make it yummier😉 I used Pillsbury strawberry cake mix

and my ‘secret’ ingredient Greek Non-Fat Yogurt.

I always replace the oil with Greek yogurt to cut down on saturated fat (plus it adds a little protein too!) and I think it makes a more moist cake.

I puréed strawberries in my Kitchen-aid mini-chopper to add to the batter. I replaced about half of the water with the strawberry purée.

I use an ice cream scoop to fill my cupcake liners to try to keep them all relatively the same size.  (Disclaimer…the next three photos aren’t of the strawberry batter. I hadn’t planned on blogging for this recipe so I’m using pictures from another recipe I will post another time😉)

Then bake according to the directions testing with a toothpick for doneness.

The icing recipe is so simple it’s crazy! And it’s SO good!!

Strawberry Cupcakes

1 box strawberry cake mix

1/2 cup Greek Non-Fat Yogurt

1/2 cup strawberry purée

1/2 cup water

3 eggs

Combine all ingredients according to package directions

Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full

Bake at 350 for 19-23 minutes

Let cool completely before icing

Strawberry Icing

2 sticks of room temperature butter

4 cups of sifted powered sugar

1/4 cup of very puréed strawberries (I used a fork to take out any larger pieces so they wouldn’t clog my icing tip)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Cream butter with mixer with whisk attachment

Add powdered sugar gradually (unless you want a cloud of sugar all over you and the kitchen😱)

Add strawberry purée and vanilla

You can add additional powdered sugar to get desired consistency


This post is not sponsored by any of the products used.

Bathroom re-do…

Fixer Upper style Farmhouse bathroom reno with faux shiplap

On a whim the other day I decided to ‘paint’ my guest bathroom.  It’s a tiny room so it won’t take long right???? Ha! Of course it took all that weekend and then some! It started out with me using some primer we had on hand to cover the old powder blue paint.

For some reason the primer didn’t really cover very well….

So I made a trip to Menards to get some ‘one coat’ paint.  I told the paint guy what I was up against and he said this paint would do the job in one coat…not so much.  So after one coat of primer and two coats of ‘one coat’ paint the painting was done and so was I for the night…ha!

Now I am a fan of Fixer Upper like so many of you! But I don’t want to hang shiplap everywhere…it seems a little to permanent.  It makes me squeamish thinking of nailing all that wood to my drywall…(maybe because I can remember the paneling from the 70s in everyones homes😫???)  I do like the look of shiplap so I decided to try to fake it!  I used my Cricut to cut thin strips of vinyl to stick to the wall that imitate the seams of shiplap. 😉  I used a dark grey color, I thought black would be too harsh.  So I used my level and a pencil to lightly draw lines on the wall about 6″ apart from floor to ceiling.  Then I started sticking my strips on!  The strips were only 24″ long so it was a lot of strips but, like I said the room is small so it wasn’t so bad.  I overlapped the strips slightly where they met to allow for any expansion/contraction with temperature changes. I am really happy with the way the shiplap turned out!

Well of course I couldn’t stop at paint and ‘shiplap’ I had to have the hubs help me makeover our builder grade medicine cabinet with some added trim and black paint.  I made the light bulb cover out of a placemat 😀

Then we built and  installed some rustic floating shelves above the toilet.  The shelves are made from reclaimed pallet wood and the stain is a vinegar wash.  (I keep cider and/or white vinegar in a ball jar with a wad of steel wool in it for this type of projects.

The cider vinegar gives a more red finish and the white vinegar is more grey.  These shelves I mixed the vinegar about 50/50 to tone down the red a little.)


So that quick paint job ended up taking about three weekends to finish but I am over the top happy with way it looks!!!



JORD wood watch Giveaway!! 

I have been guilty of wearing nothing but my smart watch for the last year. Not that I don’t have other watches, it’s just my other watches are ordinary… Well now I have a beautiful new definitely not ordinary watch to wear!

 I have been wearing my Jord Frankie Dark Sandalwood with Smoke face every chance I can!  (to get all the deets on my watch click here ) You might think a watch made from wood would be heavy…well this one is NOT, it’s lightweight and so comfortable to wear! It pairs well with so many things! I’m loving it right now with all the textures of my fall wardrobe…sweaters, plaids, boots and jeans! 

This watch is so unique it really gets a lot of attention! I’m asked about it every time I wear it! These watches are the perfect gift for those special people in your life! You should definitely go check out what they have to offer! Click here for the women’s watch shop  and here for the men’s watch shop! You could get all your Christmas shopping done before Thanksgiving! 


I have teamed up with JORD Wood Watches to give one lucky reader $75 towards a beautiful wood watch of your choice! All you have to do is click
Mens Wooden Watches

it runs through November 13th and just for entering you will receive a $20 credit to use toward the watch if your choice! 

Pillow power…

To say I’m obsessed with pillows may be an understatement! I just love how they can completely change the way a space looks for not a big investment! Since I’m a DIY’er I am constantly making new pillow covers out of all sorts of materials! I’ve used cloth napkins, curtain panels, tablecloths, sweaters, placemats and now rag rugs! I was looking for new pillows for my front porch and since it was late summer most of the outdoor pillows were well picked over and not really what I was looking for.. So one day while I was at the dollar store I found these rag rugs that had all the colors I was looking for the fall season! 

I have seen pillows at Homegoods with this type of cover on it so I decided to try it! The first pillow I made the envelope back out of leftover drop cloth material. It worked out ok but was about all my good old sewing machine could handle…So I decided to make lumbar type pillows for my adirondack chairs. Each rug is approximately 20″x30″ so I overlapped the back a couple inches so the final size is 12″x 20″ and a travel pillow form fits perfectly! 

Instead of challenging my sewing machine with the thick layers I used some jute twine and whip stitched the sides together! 

I ran the twine between the loops and progressed down the sides with a stitch every couple loops of the rug weave.  When I got to the end I just tied off the the twine and fed it back down through a few stitches and tied it off again to make it extra secure! 

After putting the pillow form in I ran some jute twine through the weave to keep the  envelope back closed.

Here’s how they look on my porch! They will definitely make my chairs more comfy to sit in and enjoy the view! 😊

Let there be light….DIY Lampshade…

Unique DIY grapevine lamp shade instructions

This spring when we were cleaning out some wild grapevines from out landscape I made a wreath. While I was making that wreath, I had a brainstorm, to make a grapevine lampshade. So I went to Goodwill to get a cheap lampshade. I found just what I was looking for! Only $2.99😬

You need to make sure it has vertical supports.

Cut off all old covering and remove the covering off the top and bottom rings. The one I bought was a plastic material.

Once the old covering is gone now it’s time to weave the grapevine around the shade frame. Make sure you alternate front and behind the vertical supports as you go around. When you come to the end of a vine just tuck the end of the new one and continue weaving.

Keep weaving in and out until you fill the frame.

Once your satisfied with the look tuck in the last end and make sure any loose ends on the inside are tucked in tight so they won’t get too close to your light bulb. Now just let it dry out and fade to brown! (It only takes a couple days to turn brown😉)

Now I know not everyone lives in a woods like I do with wild grapevine all over. But you could use the same process with rope, twine, ribbon or fabric strips to customize your lampshade to your decor!  I’m thrilled with the way it turned out!!😊

The envelope sham please…

I have been on the hunt for new euro shams since I redid my bedroom this spring. First of all they aren’t the easiest thing to find for a reasonable price. I have a really hard time paying $30-40 for something I know I can make. So I decided to make my own. I bought a 54″x84″ curtain panel at Target for the material (it only cost $16).

That is one of my biggest helpful hints when looking for fabric for your home dec projects. Curtain panels and tablecloths come in a wide variety of patterns and sizes. They are very affordable when you think about how much fabric you get for your money! 

One curtain panel has enough fabric to make three envelope style shams. This is just what I needed! I have a queen size bed and two euros looked too skimpy to me…

I think Krimley agrees we need 3 euro shams.

Here’s how I made the shams: 

1. cut off the rod pocket and the hem.

(You can throw the pieces you cut off away or keep for another project??)

2. measure out and mark the fabric in 26″ increments from the top to bottom of the panel. (Raw edge to raw edge)

3. cut the 26″ panels. Each panel will have two raw edges and the two finished edges that were the side seams of the panel.  

4. Now fold right sides together with an overlap in the middle (the overlap will be the finished edges) Each sham should measure 25″ wide so adjust accordingly. 

5. Secure edges with pins and sew each raw edge with a 1/2″ seam allowance. 

6. I normally backstich over the overlapped edges to keeps the stiches from breaking when stuffing the sham. 

Now all there is to do is turn the sham  right side out, press and stuff it with the form  (if these were going to be on a sofa or used for more than decoration I would recommend adding Velcro to the overlap to keep it closed) 

So for $16 and about an hour of my time I got three custom euro shams!