Tag / crafty stuff

Halloween Classroom Treats

Bugs + Kisses Halloween Treats | www.lifeinyellow.com

I’ve always loved Halloween — it’s smack dab in the middle of gorgeous, festive, fall and the costumes, treats, and traditions are all so much fun. It’s a new (less spooky!) kind of fun with a kiddo, and this is the first year that Crew can actually understand reading and talking about trick-or-treating, answer people who ask him what he’s going to be, and (somewhat) understands how far off it is…(“I think Halloween is in two more tomorrows, Mom!”).

Bugs + Kisses Halloween Treats | www.lifeinyellow.com

The minute the merchandise hits the stores, I’m all over it. Because we can’t bring homemade treats to school, I kept an eye out for individually wrapped candies, and per Crew’s interest in bugs, found some little spring spiders that you push down to “lock” and then a few moments later they jump a couple feet in the air, to the delight of a certain two-year-old. Sold. I can’t take credit for the “bugs and kisses” — I saw it somewhere on Pinterest at some point and it stuck in my head! The spiders are from Target and I used these treat bags), and whipped up a business card size design to fold in half length-wise and staple across the tops. Quick and cute!

Halloween 2017: Crew’s Garbage Man Costume

DIY Garbage Man Costume

I always appreciate some costume idea inspiration sooner than later — so today I’m sharing Crew’s costume he’ll be donning in a few short weeks (and who are we kidding, several times before then!).

DIY Garbage Man Costume and Trash Can | www.lifeinyellow.com

DIY Garbage Man Costume and Trash Can | www.lifeinyellow.com

It was no surprise that of course Crew wanted to be a garbage man for Halloween (the first year he’s had any kind of say!). I had grabbed the vest at IKEA for dress-up (he’s a size 3T and it’s the smallest size they make — Youth XS). To make it a little more special, I ordered an iron-on patch with his name. As much as I love to make his costumes as opposed to buying them, we just had to have a piece of legit merchandise directly from Mecca — this youth size trucker hat was perfect, and he was SO excited when I showed it to him.

DIY Garbage Man Costume and Trash Can | www.lifeinyellow.com

Obviously, the best way to haul his loot this year would be in what else — a garbage can. We bought a black Sterilite flip-lid style, hit it with some green spray paint, and added a WM decal bought on eBay. Even though it said it was meant for plastic, the spray paint is pretty delicate and scratches/flakes easily, so right before Beggars Night arrives, I’ll probably hit it again for touch-ups.

DIY Garbage Man Costume and Trash Can | www.lifeinyellow.com

Page added two replacement 7” plastic grill wheels by running a threaded rod through the back-bottom of the can. Eight washers, two nuts, and two stop nuts later, Crew was mobile.

DIY Garbage Man Costume and Trash Can | www.lifeinyellow.com

To make it easier to pull, Page added a wooden handle that he also sprayed with the same paint. He drilled it directly into the back of the can.

DIY Garbage Man Costume and Trash Can | www.lifeinyellow.com

Crew has himself a mini-version of the big guy, and he could NOT be more excited!

DIY Garbage Man Costume and Trash Can | www.lifeinyellow.com

And if you’re in search of more ideas…see how we embraced the pacifier last year when Crew went as a scuba diver (and Dad was the shark who chased him!) and his very first Halloween when he went as Albert Einstein (scroll to the bottom of that post). 🙂 Happy costume planning!

planning for Camp Crew

It’s still a few weeks away, but with the holidays between now and January 5 (and the inevitable slow-down in ordering/shipping/business hours), I’ve launched into planning mode for Crew’s second birthday party sooner than later. I’ve started to just consider it another one of ‘the holidays’!

Last year, we piggybacked his first birthday (that he was of course completely unaware of) with both a one-year-later housewarming and a general New Years celebration, hosting brunch with lots of friends and family. It was a larger bash, and this year we’ve opted to just make it about Crew’s birthday and keep the gathering much smaller with a few of his buddies and their families.

Camp Crew Inspiration Board | lifeinyellow.com

A January birthday in Iowa of course means celebrating indoors. But that didn’t mean we couldn’t bring the outdoors in. For his second birthday, we are opting for a chance to set up a cool tent and eat some marshmallows — a camping birthday!

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Between the popular plaids everywhere in seasonal merchandise (hellloooo after-Christmas clearance scores!) and the popularity of camping/adventure in kids’ home decor, it’s been easy to find a variety of items to incorporate into his party theme. I also feel less guilty about investing a little — I’m planning to use some of this after the party, permanently, in our home.

IMG_3079-1 copy

I’ll be back with the full run-down and day-of photos, but for today, I’m excited to share where a great party all starts — the invitation! Envelopes came from Paper Source and I designed the invite myself. The oh-so-cute personalized address labels from Tiny Prints’ Holiday collection are the icing on the (birthday!) cake. I love that they introduce the plaid party vibe right from the start!

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I can’t wait to pull this all together — and I don’t even like to camp! 😉  More soon!

my west elm-ish plates for fall.


A few autumns ago, I bought four of these West Elm plates for fall. I have kicked myself every day since that I didn’t buy more, especially when we upgraded to a table that seats six, and now eight. I’m obsessed with these plates – the dark greyish brown putty color, and the gold perfectly-imperfect designs and the phrases they display.

I set my table anyway (half of it), and did my annual googling/ebay/etsy search for some used ones to add to my collection. Perhaps they’ve offered them before, but for the first time, I stumbled on the SAME plates (plain, no designs) by West Elm, and leaped at the chance to order four more. I figured at the very least, I could mix and match some plain with designs.

Feeling bold, I did a little more research and ordered a gold paint pen that was stone and glass-safe and bakeable in an oven. Technically, it’s not food safe, but I figure these are just for looks. 🙂


I doodled my own version of a couple new sayings to mix with my existing “gather together” and “in good company” versions. Baked for 30 minutes in a 300 degree oven, and the finished product had me jumping for joy.


Sure, you can tell my imperfect versions from the originals, but I don’t even care — all together I love the vibe and they make me happy. Happy fall, y’all!

our Halloween entry (and our credenza makeover!)


I’m so excited to be posting about this latest project!


Since the day we moved in, I’ve had my eyes peeled for a buffet/dresser/cabinet/fill-in-the-blank to put in our entry. It’s a fairly deep and wide space, and my previous entry pieces (a small console table or the red hutch which set up camp in our last house’s guest room) just weren’t cutting it – they were too small for the space and looked rinky-dink.

I knew I wanted substantial size with ample storage space. While doing some local looking this summer for Page’s office (another post soon to come), I stumbled across a vintage resale shop just outside of town, The Porch Junkies.

the porch junkies

It was so fun to check out the shop and browse the array of vintage pieces. Things were in a wide variety of conditions from pristine to screaming for some DIY love. We settled on a piece that was structurally pretty sound, but needed some surface help, a vintage Broyhill credenza.


The owners were kind enough to deliver it for us on their way home that evening, and we popped Crew on top (his pre-crawling phase, don’t worry!) for scale. 🙂

The plan to stain versus paint was an evolving one, and took place in the garage over the coming weeks whenever I could get a free naptime, or an evening after Crew went to bed. I started with CitriStrip, which worked wonderfully and with little elbow grease…

citri stripped

When some (presumably water?) damage showed through after the stripping, we opted to paint versus stain. So on went a couple coats of wood primer.


I had my heart set on a color from the get-go, but had to do a little convincing for Page. The first couple coats were in-your-face HOT pink, against the bright white primer coats, but gradually, the color deepened into the dark berry I was after. (Below is post-first and post-third coat, for comparison!)

sherwin williams cerise

I was bursting at the seams to get this moved inside in time for Halloween. There is still some metallic accent paint to be added, but for now, who cares – I was getting out the decor within minutes of the guys moving it inside last night! IMG_0221I did add some shelf liner to all of the drawers, to tie in with our navy entry rug, and bring a little bit of modern (and cover up a few stained drawer insides!).


And a few quick naptime photos of the (90% complete) final product, in its new home in time for trick-or-treaters tonight!

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Happy halloween!!!

Love, Page, Liz, and Albert Einstein 😉


the kitchen table.


Between squirreling away our extra dollars for our down payment and for the pending expenses of Crew’s arrival, we knew we needed to keep budget in mind as we planned for new furniture. So I was particularly excited that instead of buying a new kitchen table to better fit our new dining area (the ones we were pricing were approaching the 1k mark), Page shot up his hand, wanting to MAKE one.

table in progress

We went for a farmhouse feel, Page building it based on a few different plans we found on Pinterest, and I helped to stain it. Our friends were kind enough to let us build it in their garage, with their tools, and we later moved it (and by “we”, I mean three guys – this sucker is HEAVY) to our storage unit at the apartment complex to finish it up.

poly coat

After a coat of wood conditioner, we mixed a couple Olympic stains to get this deep gray-brown color. Combining one-part grey stain (Weathered Grey) to two-parts light brown (I want to say Beechwood??), I love how this turned out after a couple thick coats were applied. Two coats of poly-acrylic to seal it all, and it spent the last couple months in storage, until we closed and could move it into the house!

Farmhouse Table

We wanted a big square shape as opposed to a rectangle this time around. This will make it harder to find linens, but I figure I can use runners/placemats and perhaps sew (??) a couple basic tablecloths to have on hand as needed. And while I still need to find two more coordinating chairs or maybe a bench for the fourth side, I’m excited about the possibility of fitting eight people around this bad boy that’s totally one of a kind. And our total cost to make it was under 200 bucks, which has us both pretty happy!


There’s a joke in my family about the kitchen table. On the rare occasion that all of us are back home and gathered around the one in my parents’ house, my dad mock-cries and bursts out with, “this table just paid for itself!”. 🙂


Good stuff happens around the kitchen table. I’m so happy to have this one that Page built, as we start our new family in our new home!

our IKEA Rast Hack bedside tables!

When it came time to think about putting together our master bedroom, simply getting some furniture in there was at the top of the needs list. We were foregoing traditional dressers in favor of our built-ins, but I also wanted some oversized nightstands to balance out the room. I was done with smaller side tables that seemed dwarfed by our king size bed…and wanted whatever we did next to double as some real storage space. I never found anything I went head-over-heels for, but these pretties from Restoration Hardware were definitely hitting all the right criteria…

RH bedside table


…But, at $865 a piece (on SALE!), these were not in my budget. Inspired by blog posts like this one, we got it in our heads to try our first ever IKEA hack. Don’t get me wrong, I love some Ikea goodies…but when it comes to the furniture, we pick and choose since some of it is so cheaply made. Once we read some reviews and learned these are one of the pieces made entirely of solid (real!) wood, we dropped the hesitation and decided to go for it.

We started these bad boys back in August, technically. On a trip home from Chicago, we stopped at the IKEA in Schaumburg and loaded up two Rast dressers, with plans to hack them later that fall. At $35 a pop for these all-pine little units, we felt more than okay to spend a little money beefing them up and tricking them out, knowing we would STILL come out way below the retail price of the several-hundred-dollar dressers of my dream budget. 🙂


Thanks to friends going out of town for the week (and loaning us their garage/tools in exchange for a little plant-watering!), Page was able to build the dressers as-is…




…add some trim to the drawer fronts to make them more interesting…


…fit them with some beefier tops and tricked out the bottom base with some additional trim.


Yours truly (and my tiny assistant) helped with some puttying of the seams and nail holes…


With many overlapping projects at the house that needed Page’s time/brain space, and having to relinquish our borrowed garage space back to its owners, we called it a stopping point. But not before Page drilled new holes for the different hardware we had opted for…


…and we moved them into our apartment garage space for a couple of months, where Page took advantage of a couple occasional warm days to stain the tops and prime/paint. We were SO close to done, but they needed one final coat. Fast forward to Christmas Day, a heated half-built house with no one around, and not much else to do with no travel or family hosting. The final coat of paint went on, along with the hardware.

Ikea Rast Hack bedside tables 2

Just in time for the final weeks in our apartment with a little one, we were able to move these in to our temporary digs.

Ikea Rast Hack bedside tables 3

Love the look and LOVE knowing how little we paid (after supplies, these came to less than $100 a pop, including the initial dresser investment).

I can’t wait to take some better photos once they’re in their “real” home in the coming weeks, and properly staged with decor that’s currently in boxes. But until then, I’m still swooning, and organizing them of course. I’m in love!