8 Things to Have Ready Before Your Holiday Guest Arrive

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BigLotsHome #CollectiveBias

With the holiday season coming up, I thought it would be fun to do a post all about what to have ready when you have guest coming! We love having family and friends come stay with us, and so I try to have everything ready for last minute guest and wanted to share with you my favorite tips and ideas!

Almost everything that you will see in this post is from Big Lots. They have everything you need to get ready for your holiday guest at great prices. It makes for an easy one stop shop to grab everything below and get it home, and to make it even easier, you can shop straight from the image above, just hover over what you love!

BigLots5Big lots Sheets

1. Sheets. Nothing makes your guest feel more comfortable in your home than having a comfy bed with nice sheets. I like to make sure I always have fresh, nice sheets for my guest to sleep on and an extra set folded up nicely in the closet just in case. I think sheets are a pretty standard thing in most homes, so you shouldn’t need any kind of options, just make sure they fit the bed!DSC_6464

2. Pillows. It seems like the one thing you can never have enough of when guest stay is pillows. I have a niece who is a self-described “pillow addict” and so I have to have at least three pillows on hand just for her. It’s smart to have an assortment of types of pillows because everyone seems to like a different kind, for example, my Mom likes really flat pillows, while I like really big, firm pillows. I made sure while I was at Big Lots to grab a Serta Cool & Comfy and and a Serta Super Firm so my guest could have options. Even throw pillows can be used as sleeping pillows for little guest.Throw

Almost every time we have guest, they are usually bringing little kids that will be sleeping on the floor or on air mattresses, so I try to place a nice stack of pillows with extra sheets and bedding in the guest bedroom closet and let them know that they are in there, that way everyone has a pillow and bedding, which brings me to my next must-have… DSC_6498

3. Extra Bedding. Like I just said, you want everyone to have bedding, and you want everyone to be warm, I try to have an extra throw blanket on the bed in case my guest get cold, and a few extra blankets in the closet for extra guest. If you’re like me, you can’t sleep without a blanket, so I try to make sure everyone has one! If you don’t have an air mattress or pack and play for little ones, most of them are completely happy to sleep on a couple of folded up blankets on the floor as well. This damask throw that I got at Big Lots is soooo soft. Anyone would be happy to sleep on or under it.

4. Curtains! When your guest are coming from around the country and they’re sleep schedule is way off, they’ll thank you for having good curtains to block out the sun, especially if they have kids with them. Big Lots has a huge assortment of black out curtains in all kinds of colors and patterns. I bought these linen-esque curtains because I like that the length matched the ledge that is in our guest room. These café-style curtain rods are really popular right now, but I had such a hard time choosing between those and the other cute styles they had at Big Lots.Curtain Rods

Curtains are a must-have in any guest room.

5. Blinds. This goes hand and hand with the one before. You basically want your guest to have the option of making it as dark as possible whenever they need it. I love the bamboo blinds that I got at Big Lots. The light curtains with bamboo blinds is really in right now and I think they look great together. I also loved that these were SO easy to install.

6. Slow-Cooker. One of my favorite things about having family in town is eating all of our family favorites, but with so much going on, sometimes it’s hard to get much time in the kitchen. I use my slow cooker all the time when guest are in town to save time. I’ll put everything on the cook in the morning, and then we have the whole day to go have fun, and come home to a great meal. It gives me one less thing to stress about, and a lot more time making memories with family.DSC_6518

7. Towels. When my guest arrive, I love to have the bed made up pretty with a tray on it, and the towels rolled up nice and pretty. When you leave them in a tray, your guest can simply pick it up and move it to another surface when they are ready for bed, rather than throwing their clean towels over a chair. Make sure that you have enough towels for every guest to have at least one bath towel plus at least one washcloth. I like having pretty coordinating colors as well. Luckily, Big lots has a great selection of plush towels, washcloths, hand towels, and rugs that all coordinate!

8. A Fan! I know I can’t be the only person out there who can’t sleep without a fan, even if it’s –10 degrees outside. Having a fan in your guest room can cut down on noise and make a nice breeze, plus there are tons of people like me who CANNOT sleep without a fan- so have one ready for guest! I have gotten so used to traveling to houses that don’t have fans, that I bring my own sometimes. Your guest will thank you if you have one ready!BigLots2

That’s it! 8 great things that you do not want to forget before you guest come into town.

I also wanted to share another update that I did in our guest bedroom- a DIY Jute Cord Cover. Our guest room doesn’t have any overhead lighting, so I have added a cute lantern style light that swags down the wall. The cord is really utilitarian looking, and it was kind of ugly, so I wanted to do something about it. I saw a jute cord cover for sale at a store, and figured I could make my own a lot cheaper, and it turned out great! Here’s what you need:DIY Jute Cord Cover

Supplies: 1/2 inch thick Jute Cord (however many feet of cord that you want to cover PLUS a foot or two just in case), and electrical tape.

Step 1- Take your jute cord (which I bought by the foot from a home improvement store), and separate the stands. Mine was made of three strands which was enough to cover my cord, if your cord is really thick, you might want to buy twice as much Jute cord so you can have extra.DSC_7330

Step 2- Start with one strand. Tape it to the start of the cord, and wrap it around. Because of the twist in the cord,  it will fall naturally in a certain place, but try and keep them as tight together as you can without gaping from the cord. Continue all the way down, and then tape in place.DSC_7338

Step 3- Repeat with the second strand, wrapping it right next to the first strand. DSC_7342

Step 4- Repeat and try to fill in any gaps. Tape nicely at the end, and trim any excess jute cord away. Done! Hang your light back up and it’s beautiful!DSC_7358
Doesn’t that look so much better? I hope you and your guest love it- I think it adds just the perfect extra touch of comfort and coziness, instead of a big black cord handing down the wall.

So, do any of you have any plans for holiday guest coming? What are your tips for getting ready for company? If you’re missing anything from the list, make sure you head to Big Lots for a one-stop shop for everything you need! Their assortment of home goods, including furniture is great!

How To Make Giant Pumpkins From Tablecloths

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ProtectYourEverything #CollectiveBiasEasy DIY Fabric Pumpkin

Don’t you love when you’re working on something and get a stroke of genius? I have been obsessing over everyone’s pretty fabric pumpkins I see them sharing on Instagram, and decided to try my hand at my own. We don’t have a craft store in town, and so I was using some fabric napkins I’d picked up in the Dollar Section at Target. While I was working on it, I had the thought- since I’m cutting these into circles anyways, why not just start with something that’s a circle? Like a tablecloth! How cute would giant fabric pumpkins be? And off to the store I went! I am obsessed with these, and I hope you guys will love them too. They were super easy and only took me about five minutes to make all three and that’s with my three boys running around me too!

Fabric- A round tablecloth if you want to make a giant one, or fabric napkins of even kitchen towels for smaller ones
You won’t be cutting the tablecloth at all so if you want to use one you already have a take it apart after Halloween/Fall, you totally can!
Sticks that look like pumpkin stems
Filler (I used Target plastic bags in my little pumpkins and beach towels all in a trash bag in the big one)
Scotchgard™ Fabric & Upholstery Protector

DIY fabric pumpkin how to (1)

First- Once you’ve got all your cute supplies, lay out your tablecloth on the ground. If you are using a fabric napkin or kitchen towel, use two pencils tied together to draw a circle and cut it down to a circle OR trace a plate on the fabric and cut out the circle.DIY fabric pumpkin how to (2)

Step 2: Decide what you want to use as filling. Since I wasn’t cutting my tablecloth and plan on taking it apart after fall/Halloween, I filled mine with beach towels we won’t be using anytime soon. I put them all into a trash bag to avoid moisture/mold and turned it upside down to deter rain from getting in the bag even more. For my smaller pumpkins, I just bunched my Target shopping bags together and put them all inside one bag.
DIY fabric pumpkin how to (3)

Step 3: Chose a Pumpkin stem! Once you’ve picked out your stem, hold it on top of your filler and begin to bring the fabric up around the filler. I folded in the left and right sides and then gathered the top and bottom pieces.
DIY fabric pumpkin how to (4)DIY fabric pumpkin how to (5)

Step 4: While you hold the fabric around the stem, wrap twine around the top twice. From there, wrap it around the bottom of the pumpkin. You’re going to wrap it three times in the same place, and then move to a new area and wrap it again, so from the top it looks like pie slices. Once you’ve done three different “slices,” you can wrap the twine around the stem to secure the fabric at the top as many time as you want and tie it off. If you have any folds of fabric that are loose, tuck them in the twine that makes the “slices.” DSC_6267

Now you can smash it, move things around, and get it looking exactly the way you want!DIY fabric pumpkin how to (8)

Step 5: I didn’t want my pumpkins to get ruined being outside all fall, especially with all the rainfall we get, so I wanted to protect them with Scotchgard™ Fabric Protector. Scotchgard™ Fabric Protector repels liquids and blocks stains without changing the way the fabric feels or looks. I simply went over each pumpkin with two light coats, letting it dry in between. I love, love, love Scotchgard™; I even use it on my kids shoes to keep their feet from getting wet in the rain. It seriously works amazing, so now my cute little pumpkins will stay bright and dry all fall! You can get it at Target, which is awesome because you know you’re going to go there anyways, and here is a coupon for $2 off!DIY fabric pumpkin how to (17)

All done and ready to dress up your porch or shelf all fall! Once I put these outside, I was SO happy with how cute they look!DIY fabric pumpkin how to (15)DIY fabric pumpkin how to (12)
That little guy might be my favorite. He was once a kitchen towel, and now a happy pumpkin on my porch!
DIY fabric pumpkin how to (10)DIY fabric pumpkin how to (16)

I hope you love them as much as I do! I’d love to see any that y’all make and your cute Fall décor set-ups. Share them with me on Instagram! Also, Scotchgard™ has more awesome other project ideas on their website, check it out!, and don’t forget you can get it at Target in the laundry section!2016-09-15 01.07.22 2

Redecorating Our DIY Floating Shelves for Fall

First off, let me say how BLOWN AWAY I have been with the response to Our Floating Shelves we built last year. That post has been viewed more than any post ever on my blog and has been repinned over 60,000 times. 60,000 of you love our shelves that much! Thank you!!! Fall Decor (2)

As we’ve been progressing in the shiplap project in the dining room/living room, eventually it came time to take the shelves down to add the shiplap behind them. I just finished putting it up, painting, and re-hanging the shelves last week and it only seemed fitting to redecorate them a little and add a few fall elements. As you can see, the wall isn’t even totally finished but I was so excited to get it decorated again. Thanks to At Home, I was able to take a little shopping spree and I fell in love with their assortment of fake pumpkins, especially the blue ones. My home décor doesn’t have a lot of oranges or red, so it’s hard to find Fall décor that matches, but I usually go for it anyways. When I saw these pumpkins, I had to have them.Fall Decor (5)Fall Decor (4)

Have you ever been to At Home? It can be seriously overwhelming in a good way when you first go in. Imagine Costco, but filled to the brim with Lawn Décor, Christmas Decorations, Lamps, Shelves, Faux Florals, Outdoor cushions, Rugs, Chairs, and so much more. I could spend all day (and all my bank account) there. I had seen these cute orbs in their Dorm Idea Lookbook and fell in love. I knew I had to fit them into my space somehow.Fall Decor (3)

That cute little bird cage on the right? At Home. I’m telling you, you can get anything you ever wanted there. On my way to the check-out I found this cute little print that I planned on putting in the boys room, but once I brought it home, I wanted to see it everyday. I love little reminders to deliberately choose happiness.Fall Decor (6)Fall Decor (9)Fall Decor (11)

Just ignore my primed wall and light switch that needs to be extended out a little 🙂 That milk jar on the bottom shelf, I’ve had since I was in High School. I always loved antiques and country-esque items and when I was up in my parents attic one day, I found a whole collection of really neat jars that my Mom had kept. I promptly stole this one and have never given it back. The scale next to it was probably the first home décor item I bought after Brandon and I got married and is still one of my favorite pieces in the house.

I got a bunch more really cute Home items at At Home, I can’t wait to share them with you in the other spaces I put them!

How to Frame a Hatch Show Print

Any country music lover out there? Being a huge country music fan myself, I have collected a few Hatch Show Prints over the years (If you don’t know what that is, google it. They are a staple in country music history). Because they aren’t a standard photo or poster size, there are no frames that they fit in. I had looked into having one custom made, but it was expensive and didn’t really fit the vibe anyways.

After seeing some vintage school maps in an antique store, I got inspired to hang them myself, simply using some scrap 1X2’s and a staple gun. It was super easy, and would cute with any artwork. The best part is total cost for all of the supplies was less than 10 dollars. Here’s how I did it!-how to hang a hatch show print

Supplies: 1X2’s- I cut them long enough to have a 1/2 inch overhang on each side, Wood stain for if you want to stain them, string, staples, and a stapler gun.

First step: Cut your board to size. Like I said, I wanted mine to over hang about a half an inch on each side. If you don’t own a saw, Home Depot or Lowe’s will cut the boards for you while you’re there.

Second step: Stain them! I stained my “provincial” by MinWax. Painting would be pretty too!

hatch show print diy (5)
Step three: Take your print and decide where you’ll want it to hang on the boards. Measure that space and mark it three times across the back of the paper. Draw a straight line through them, and this is where the board will cover your paper on the front.hatch show print diy (6)

Step four: Line the edges of your board with the line you just drew, and staple in the middle. Staple once on each side. Repeat step three and four with the other board.
hatch show print diy (4)

Step six: Grab your string and cut it to you desired length.  I made mine about four inches shorter than my top board, knowing that the weight of the picture would pull it down to be visible. Staple it taut across your top board, as close to the top edge as you can. If you feel like the string is going to pull out of your staple, tie the loose end twice around the staple.

You’re done! Now you have a gorgeous and cute piece of art to hang anywhere in your house!
There are so many possibilities of what you could hang like this, from handkerchiefs, to canvases or pictures or big posters. You could even hang a quilt on the wall like this if you made sure to use enough staples, and maybe a 1X4 instead of 1X2. If you make one, tag me on instagram so I can see it! I love seeing what yall create and how you put your own ideas into things!
diy hanging art


DIY Kids playbox

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #allfreeclear #CollectiveBias

Today, I’ve got another great DIY for kids to share with you. Yesterdays post was all about backyard water fun and today is all about getting dirty. My boys spend 99% of their time outside digging in dirt. No matter how many bikes, scooters, playgrounds we have, they love digging. Unfortunately for us, our house has this little pit of mud with no grass that they love, and it is right next to the road, and they really love it. It makes me so nervous and I sit there watching them like a hawk the entire time they play, and even then I’m nervous something will happen. We don’t live on a really busy road, but still. So instead of letting them dig a big hole in the middle of my yard, we decided to build them a box that can be there monster truck/construction vehicle play box. We made most of it from pallets, which is awesome because it can fit anyone’s budget. Keep reading for instructions!DSC_1082

We decided to fill it with rocks instead of dirt to try and keep them at least a little cleaner than they normally get (we considered sand but didn’t want the neighborhood cats using it as a litter box). I swear my kids have to change clothes ten times a day because they go get so muddy playing in that hole. We go through so much laundry detergent, but we’ve been using all® free clear detergent and at least it gets all the stains out and so they can play outside and get as muddy as they want without me worrying about their clothes every time. In high school, I started having sneezing fits constantly, and was able to trace it back to the laundry detergent I was using. I switched to all® free clear detergent and haven’t used another detergent since. It’s gentle enough for even my babies, strong enough for my messy toddlers, and doesn’t bother me. We pick it up in bulk when we go to Sam’s Club. All Free and Clear

I buy it by the pallet. Just kidding, I wish that was my stockpile! I really am loyal to all® free clear detergent though.DIY play box from pallets

12 boards off of pallets (You might need two pallets to get enough)
2X4’s (you can get these off the pallets as well, or buy them, we had some extras lying around)
Landscaping Timber (for the corners)
Pea gravel

diy play box (2)

The first thing you want to do is choose the wood from your pallets and take it off the pallets. Look for wood that’s not broken, doesn’t have holes, etc. You can either pry the boards off of the pallet carefully so you don’t split them, or use a sawzall with a metal cutting blade on it to cut through the nails and free the boards. The latter is much easier, but you can do either one just fine. You’ll need 12 boards. If you pry them, take out the nails as well.

diy play box (1)

Next, you want to cut your landscaping timber (this will be your corner supports) and 2X4’s to be 12 inches long. We used landscaping timbers because they are only two dollars per eight foot board, but if you have 4X4’s lying around, or a pallet with really big support boards, that will work too.

diy play box (3)

Now you’re going to start building the box. Take one of your pallet boards and nail each end to one of your landscaping timbers. In the middle, nail a 2X4 for support. Be careful while you are nailing not to split the wood. Pallet wood splits easily. Once you have the three supports on the board, nail two more of the pallet 1X4’s on top of it, as you can see we’re doing in the pictures below. As you add the two top boards, make sure you’re boards are as close together as possible so that when you’re finished the rocks don’t fall between the cracks. You’ll notice you have a little bit of overhang, which is good. That’s where your supports will go into the ground a little. Make two of these.

diy play box (4)diy play box (5)diy play box (6)diy play box (7)diy play box (8)

Now you’re going to add a 1X4 pallet board to connect the two sides you just made, and start making it into a box. You’ll put two more on top just like you did on the other two sides, making sure to line up the boards so you still have that inch or so on your supports that will go into the ground. Repeat on the other side and you have your play box! If you ended up with any cracks or holes, you can use a wood filler or caulk to fill them in.

diy play box (9)

Now find the spot in your yard where you want your box to be, and use a shovel to even out the ground a little. Take a shovel and dig out just a couple inches where the edges of the box will be so that it will sit down into the ground a little, then you can put your box in, jump on it a few times to get it in the ground, and fill it with rocks! We used 12 bags of pea gravel, and then added in our kids favorite dump trucks and diggers.DSC_1089DSC_1013DSC_1020DSC_0985

They love it and have played in it tons, but of course they managed to find their way back to a mud hole. That’s what the laundry detergent is for, right?DSC_1000

Do you have any great ways for getting mud out of kids clothes? Or keeping them from getting muddy?? I’d love to hear it!