“Gingerbread” Village

I have confessed it here before, but I will do it again… I am a Christmas décor collector and creator. At the end of last year, I acquired several small house/buildings made of chipboard from sellers on Etsy. I intended to paint them to look like gingerbread houses and display them, but time got away from me. I recently completed my painting of the “gingerbread” village and will share the extreme makeover results below:

“The Gazebo”
(Carboard Fairy House – DIY)
via littlevillagehouses on Etsy




“The Bakery”
(Putz Style Carboard Houses- Large Shop – DIY)
via littlevillagehouses on Etsy




“The Mansion”
(Putz Style Houses- Large Vintage 3 Roofs House)
via littlevillagehouses on Etsy




“The Cottage”
(DIY Easiest Gingerbread House Ever)
via RetiredLetsDoLunch on Etsy




“The Hotel”
(DIY Kit- Funky Little Chipboard Gingerbread House)
via RetiredLetsDoLunch on Etsy




“The Log Cabin”
(DIY Kit- Basic Chipboard Gingerbread House)
via RetiredLetsDoLunch on Etsy




“The Chapel”
(DIY Kit- Little Chapel Chipboard Gingerbread House)
via RetiredLetsDoLunch on Etsy






An Interview With My Readers

If you know anything about me, you know I make a lot of lists, I love playing games, and I ask a lot of questions… So to celebrate the fact that today is Friday, let’s play twenty questions! (Leave your answers in the comments.)
1. What is your favorite smart phone app?

2. What types of posts would you like to see here more often?

3. What is your favorite animal?

4. What is your favorite Disney movie?

5. What is your favorite color?

6. What is your favorite board game?

7. What is your favorite music genre?

8. What is your favorite non-Disney movie?

9. What is your favorite beverage?

10. What is your favorite sport, to watch or play?

11. Who is your favorite superhero?

12. What is your favorite book?

13. What is your favorite song?

14. Who would you invite to your dream dinner party (friends, family, celebrities, dead or alive)?

15. What is your favorite way to pass your free time?

16. What is your favorite television show?

17. What is your favorite breakfast food?

18. What is your favorite book series?

19. If you could only eat one food, for the rest of your life, what would it be? 

20. What is your favorite thing about yourself?
Happy Friday; have a wonderful weekend!


These are a few of my favorite things…


  • Disney Movies
  1. Aladdin
  2. Robin Hood
  3. The Lion King
  4. Beauty and the Beast
  5. The Little Mermaid
  6. Sleeping Beauty
  7. The Aristocats
  8. 101 Dalmatians
  9. Cinderella
  10. Finding Nemo
  • Non-Disney Movies
  1. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (aka the Robin Hood with Kevin Costner)
  2. Footloose
  3. Gone With the Wind
  4. Princess Bride
  5. Guys and Dolls
  6. Free Willy
  7. The Godfather
  8. Singing in the Rain
  9. Lord of the Rings (all three counted as one)
  10. Pillow Talk
  • “I Love Lucy” Episodes
  1. “The Kleptomaniac” (1.27)
  2. “Job Switching” (2.1)
  3. “Lucy Gets Into Pictures” (4.18)
  4. “Tennessee Ernie Visits” (3.28)
  5. “Pioneer Women” (1.25)
  6. “Men Are Messy” (1.8)
  7. “Lucy Gets a Paris Gown” (5.20)
  8. “Lucy Meets the Queen” (5.15)
  9. “Lucy and the Loving Cup” (6.12)
  10. “Lucy Raises Chickens” (6.19)
  • Fruits
  1. Pineapple
  2. Yellow Nectarines
  3. Strawberries
  4. Oranges
  5. Blackberries
  6. Avocados
  7. Green Grapes
  8. Red Plums
  9. Granny Smith Apples
  10. Bananas
  • Colors
  1. Black
  2. White
  3. Sapphire Blue
  4. Maroon
  5. Bright Blue
  6. Bright Yellow
  7. Kelly Green
  8. Red
  9. Gold
  10. Silver
  • Book Series (this is like picking your favorite child)
  1. The Longmire Series (Craig Johnson)
  2. The Katie Chandler/Enchanted Inc. Series (Shanna Swendson)
  3. A. Candy Series (Lauren Conrad)
  4. Ashley Stockingdale Series (1-3)(Kristin Billerbeck)
  5. The Lord of the Rings Series (JRR Tolkien)
  6. Hunger Games Series (Suzanne Collins)
  7. The Little Lady Series (Hester Browne)
  8. Queen of Babble Series (Meg Cabot)
  9. Spa Girls Series (Kristin Billerbeck)
  10. James Bond/007 Series (Ian Fleming)
  • Musicals/Musical Movies
  1. Spamalot
  2. Guys and Dolls
  3. The Sound of Music
  4. Into The Woods
  5. Footloose
  6. Grease
  7. Hairspray
  8. Thoroughly Modern Millie
  9. My Fair Lady
  10. The Wizard of Oz
  • Games
  1. Monopoly 
  2. Checkers
  3. Life
  4. Chess
  5. Skip-Bo
  6. Scattegories
  7. Catch Phrase
  8. Taboo
  9. Guess Who
  10. Clue
  • Animals
  1. Lion
  2. Cat (household)
  3. Shark
  4. Duck
  5. Giraffe
  6. Octopus
  7. Turtle
  8. Eagle
  9. Deer
  10. Armadillo
  • Tourist Destinations
  1. London, England
  2. Maldives
  3. Sydney Opera House – Sydney, Australia
  4. Las Vegas, Nevada
  5. Ice Hotel – Quebec, Canada
  6. Guggenheim Museum – Bilbao, Spain
  7. Venice, Italy
  8. Churchill Downs (for the Kentucky Derby) – Louisville, Kentucky
  9. Broadway – New York, New York
  10. The Louvre – Paris France

30 [Cheap] Things to do When Bored

After being iced in for two days this week, I decided to draft a list of things to do when you are bored or experiencing Spring Fever in the Winter.

  1. Teach yourself something new (to knit, origami, an instrument, dance routines, etc). YouTube and Udemy are great resources for tutorials.
  2. Clean out/organize your closet. Occasional de-cluttering is essential. In the end your life (or at least closet) will be organized and you will have helped others (if you donate old clothes and shoes you do not wear anymore).
  3. Put together a jigsaw puzzle.
  4. Exercise. Ride a bike, go for a run, try yoga, shoot some hoops, go for a hike.
  5. Get crafty. Doodle.
  6. Start a collection. Rocks, bottles, stamps, Christmas decorations…
  7. Watch a movie. Make it a marathon.
  8. Call a friend or relative. Even better, Skype or FaceTime a friend or relative.
  9. Learn some American Sign Language. is a great resource, it has a video dictionary and quizzes.
  10. Write a letter to a loved one. While I was in college my Grandma wrote me a letter each week and after my Grandpa died I made it a goal to write to her every week too. I love getting real mail (not credit card applications), I am sure I am not alone in my excitement for snail mail.
  11. Take quizzes, for fun. Visit and get lost in their plethora of fun quizzes (more added daily).
  12. Host a game night with friends/family.
  13. Try a new recipe. Pinterest is full of interesting recipes, and you need to eat anyway, have fun with it.
  14. Write. Draft a story, poem or song.
  15. Volunteer at a local organization.
  16. Visit a museum. Many museums have free days or hours.
  17. Take in a local play or musical. For a cheaper live theatre experience check out high school and community playhouse productions.
  18. Put your iPod or Pandora on shuffle and sing along.
  19. Dance.
  20. Read a new book (via the library, Amazon or Half Price Books) or, re-read an old favorite.
  21. Work a word search, crossword or Sudoku puzzle.
  22. Window or Pinterest “shop”.
  23. Commit a random act of kindness, i.e. feed a stray cat, take your neighbor’s newspaper to their front door, hold the door open for someone…
  24. Plant a garden.
  25. Write a bucket list… Places you want to see and things you want to do in life.
  26. Create a vision board (physical or on Pinterest). Vision boards have been proven to help you meet goals and manifest what you want.
  27. Plan a vacation. You don’t have to book airfare or hotel rooms, just plan where you want to go and what you want to do there.
  28. Create a care package. Dollar Tree has lots of great things to include in a care package. Make one for a friend or family member or make a few and take them to your local nursing home.
  29. Create a time capsule.
  30. Make a list of the top ten books you have read that you would recommend to someone else.

Easy DIY Valentines Wreath

2015-02-02 13.10.43

What you will need:

-1 wire (shirt) hanger

-pretty paper (scrapbook paper, construction paper…)


-tape (Scotch, masking, duct…)

-pretty ribbon



Bend the hanger like so…

2015-02-02 13.12.41

STEP 2 –
Cut the paper in free-handed spiral like so…

2015-02-02 13.17.19

Roll the cut paper like so…

2015-02-02 13.17.39

If your pretty paper is one sided, roll it so that the pretty side is on the inside.

2015-02-02 13.21.44


When done, they will look like this-

2015-02-02 14.25.00 2015-02-02 14.23.27

Affix the pretty paper roses like so…

2015-02-02 14.29.39(Remember, nobody will see the backside of your wreath, do not worry about ugly tape
on the back, just make sure the roses are securely attached.)

Add a pretty piece of ribbon to the hanger and voila!

2015-02-02 15.24.05


Goals for 2015

I do not set new year’s resolutions, I set goals. Goals to improve certain areas of my life, i.e. health, wealth and happiness…

I read an interesting article from Forbes about setting and successfully meeting goals. The article reiterated something I was told in college, “Writing down your goals, sharing them with friends, and sending your friends regular updates about your progress can boost your chances of succeeding.”

So, this year I thought I would share a few of my goals with you!

  1. Complete dollhouse wiring, construction and painting.

In 2002 I received an “easy” DIY dollhouse kit for my birthday. For years I had admired these beautiful, fancy, detailed dollhouses resting high up on the shelves in Hobby Lobby… Finally I convinced my parents that was all I wanted (or would ever want, at the time at least). Fast forward to 2014 and it has barely been touched, it is still snuggly, unassembled, in its box under my bed at home. This year that is going to change. I have expensive taste and miniature furniture is not exactly cheap so my goal is simply to complete construction, not furnishing.

  1. Learn to play chess.

I have always loved games, much to the dismay of my family… I have been interested in learning to play chess for quite some time now, but it was mentioned quite a lot in a book series I read last year and that is what motivated me to make it a goal for this year.

  1. Read more books than last year. (I read 35 books in 2014 [the goal for that was 30] so this year I am aiming for a minimum of 36 books.)

I was dyslexic and reading was never fun for me as a child. I learned coping strategies that got me through school and university and now I love reading. Correction: I love reading what I want to read. The goal of 30 books I set for myself last year was reaching far, but I was ecstatic when I not only met that goal but surpassed it! So this year I am pushing myself even further. Look forward to my book report next year.

  1. Master a minimum of 6 songs on the piano.

Last year I wrote a post about how I was returning to the piano after years away and that I would finally teach myself the left hand. I am very pleased to share that I memorized “Edelweiss” (from The Sound of Music), “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” (from The Lion King) and my favorite Christmas song, “The Little Drummer Boy”.  Last week I loaded up on sheet music for some of my favorite songs at Half Price Books (“OH, LOOK! The complete Backstreet Boys Millennium album! Oh and some Jimmy Buffett songs too!” I told you I have an eclectic taste in music). The bad part was I did not examine the difficulty of said sheet music before purchasing it. I am ok with that though, it will be an added challenge. I am eager to tackle these songs!

  1. Be positive.

Being positive is very important to a healthy, happy life. After reading The Secret last year I realized that my tendency to bogged down in the day to day “bad” things had grown deeper than I ever should have let it… There is always a silver lining; there is always another side of the coin. After all, “What you appreciate and give thanks for will increase in your life.” –Sanaya Romen.