DIY Home Decor, DIY Seasonal Decor

“Budget Friendly” Fall Inspired Coffee Table Centerpiece

Have you ever hear the statement-“When you build up your spices in the kitchen cabinet, cooking becomes easier and more cost-efficient.” Well, we can apply this same idea to crafting/DIYing! Although, it’s more like fabric pieces, gems, hot glue gun, ribbons, and the list goes one… I have built up solid “basics” of craft supplies and I thought it would be fun to use what I have and create a “fall inspired” centerpiece for my coffee table.

The Florida Morehouse family had a stay at home kind of weekend. Little Johnny came down with a cold, which he needed rest days to recuperate (although, he had all the energy in the world, just with snot hanging down his nose! haha) This led me to getting a few fun projects done around the house. (Especially all things pumpkin related!) October is my all time favorite month (it may have something to do with it being my birthday month, just saying…) To me it marks the time of year where the “seasonal activities” are embarking. 

There’s quite a bit to offer in this post, and I should probably break it up into two parts, but here’s the honest truth…I’ve tried doing that before which it’s quite hard for me to come back to it later. My motto is get it done all at once, mainly because I tend to be scattered brained where my mind gets off track to other projects. Although, it’s a great post that allows you to pick and choose different decorating techniques to incorporate in your home, especially since they’re easy and budget friendly!

You may think I’m a bit crazy with decorating while there are little hands and toys spread out around our home, but I’m a mama that like to decorate and while I realize our little guy may rearrange things, I’m totally okay with that. It’s these small decorating moments that give me that boost of excitement in life! (Along with  $2.99 mums at Aldi!)

“I have pretty areas in my home that I admire, but I also have toys spread across the floor along with a trail of snack crumbs…and I’m okay with that. It’s a season of my life that I will one day miss, but that’s not stopping me from fulfilling my love of decorating!”

Anyways, grab a hot cup of coffee and get cozy (or in our case, turn up the air conditioning and “pretend” it’s fall weather) and follow me as I take you through this tour of my “Budget Friendly” Fall Inspired Coffee Table Centerpiece.

Below you’ll find the pictures with links and detailed descriptions on how I managed to create the staging of my coffee table centerpiece.

This is an upcycled project! Here I have a tiki torch where I took out the tin and replaced it with a mason jar along with artificial flowers and a foam ball to give it more height! I love the frame of the torch and the height it gives.

Any guesses as to where I purchase this artificial plant? YES, the one and only Ikea! I have had this plant for about 4 years (and probably the only one I will ever keep “alive” this long…haha!) Here’s a great tip if you’re seeking budget friendly advice…use just a few pieces from the plant and disburse throughout your house. Seriously, no one will ever know! This picture was taken after I pulled off the pieced I needed…can you tell?! (I didn’t think so…) 😉

The above picture is a “no-sew” pumpkin that I created within 15 minutes. It was so easy and it adds great detail along with adding different textures immersed in the display. (I’m a big fan of decorating with textures if you haven’t noticed…haha) Click the link below to watch a youtube tutorial that helped me!

>>>No-Sew Pumpkin Tutorial<<<

This pumpkin is another upcycled project using mason jar lids! Stay tuned for a DIY Friday post where I’ll take you through the steps!

love decorating with books or magazines! Here’s a trick…checkout hardcover magazines from the library depending on the season you are in! It adds more color along with height to your display.

What’s your favorite “fall inspired” decor item?

Let’s get to decorating!

Wishing you well, 

~Amanda

DIY Home Decor

DIY Friday~ $1 Home Decor Cotton Stems

Well, fall is officially here! Maybe not so much in the weather for us, since it’s still 90 degrees outside, BUT definitely in the home decor! Here’s a big secret from a DIY mama…some days Little Johnny and I go into my favorite craft store and just walk around while I search for inspiration. As an added bonus, did you know that craft stores are a great place for kids to explore their senses?! We currently love the huge flowers at Hobby Lobby, it’s Little Johnny’s fav…and probably how I convince him to go. 🙂

What’s a fall trend that you have been seeing lately? (Even Magnolia Market sells them.)

Cotton Stems!

(or cotton flowers)

Have you ever gone into a home decor store and thought to yourself…”this looks like something I could make?” I say that to myself quite often and this time I took it to the next level by actually creating my own! YOU ALL! This project was so easy, and very cost-efficient. You probably have $1 right now in your wallet, (which is how much it cost to make this).

DIY Cotton Stems 


{Supplies}

  • 2 pine cones
  • 2 branches
  • 12 cotton balls
  • hot glue gun

The only item I purchased were the cotton balls, hence the $1 (although you may already have some stashed away in your closet). The rest of the supplies came from the outdoors.

{Steps}

I created another video where I share with you all the details. Make sure to click below to watch and feel free to leave a comment, or even subscribe. It’s always scary taking a leap as a blogger, but I felt it was time to move to the next level with my DIY projects (plus, we all know everyone loves watching videos.)

What fall decor item is your favorite this season? 

Here’s to pumpkin spiced everything, bonfires, fresh baked pies, and cozy sweater weather! 🙂 Maybe you can try this for a weekend project?!

Wishing you well, 

~Amanda

Family Adventures, Recipes, Uncategorized

Seeking to Live Those Simple Days & My Favorite Apple Crumble Recipe

I have this vision that life is supposed to play out a certain way. I focus hard on wanting it to be something that may not be in the works at the moment. I’m guilty of envisioning the life where we have days that are “free” from work and we’re able to sit on our front porch with our favorite drinks, while just enjoying each other as we breathe in the fresh air and leave all the stress behind.

Really, it’s the s i m p l e days I’m seeking now that I’m in my life stage of m o t h e r h o o d.

(Funny how things change.)

We all have our “dreams” in mind of what we want our life to “look” like, but the hardest part is attaining it. There are so many obstacles that get in the way and sometimes we can loose sight or feel like just giving that vision up. I’m totally guilty of having a difficult time “foreseeing” how our hard work will play out in the future. I guess in reality I’m having a hard time trusting things will work with how they are meant to.

This past weekend I read a page from “Grace for the Moment” By Max Lucado, these are short daily devotionals that are easy to read, but brings so much insight into your day. The day marked “September 23rd” was exactly what I needed to read. It helped me to redirect my mindset so that I can continue to “swim along” through the daily grind.

Trust God with the Future 

Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust in me. -John 14:1

I sat there for a few moments and pondered this verse. I knew my heart has been troubled lately, mainly due with the stress of financial decisions we have made, along with at this very moment trying to build our future while also raising our little boy. Everyday I seek for wisdom along with clarity that things will start to work out, and while some days are better than others… knowing that my family’s future is already taken care of is bringing me more peace.

Our family will continue to have long days ahead of us as we are build our future, but knowing that we have Him guiding us is giving me more moments where I can let out those “sighs of relief”.  Doesn’t it feel good to know that you can release the control into His hands?

It may be that you too are in a similar situation, where the stress of life is really starting to build up and you’re seeking those “s i m p l e days”.

Here’s what I want you to know…

“The Lord will fight for you; you need only be still.” -Exodus 14:14

Keep doing what your doing, trust in the Lord, be kind, humble, and gracious…your time will soon come.

“I will also give to each one who wins the victory a white stone with a new name written on it.” Revelation 2:17

Do you remember the story of Joseph and how diligent he was in “waiting”? He went through so many obstacles, from being betrayed by his brothers, to being in a dungeon (not a prison, but a dungeon!) for a crime he never did, and so many other battles he encountered throughout his life. But, you know what?! He never gave up in believing that one day “his time will come”. And it sure did!

Time is something that we either want to slow down or speed up. (we’re so indecisive as humans, aren’t we?) It all depends on our situation. As for me, I would like time to speed up, but we all know that won’t happen. So for now, I’m focusing on those simple moments and releasing my thoughts to knowing that someone else is in control and He definitely has a plan for my family.

I believe that’s called having F A I T H.

You know what else helps with the waiting period? Yummy food, especially treats! 🙂

I’ll stop here and share with you a delicious apple crumble that I made this past Sunday, because it’s these simple moments that I’m truly starting to treasure.  Now, I wish I could say I came up with the recipe, but that’s definitely not the case. I went to one of my favorite online “cookbooks”! 🙂 Pinterest recipes and allrecipes.com are my top favorites! 🙂

The Apple Crumble Recipe came from allrecipes.com. All 3 of us enjoyed it (even Little Johnny). It’s a simple recipe too!

Click the link below to be directed to our favorite apple crumble recipe!

>>>Apple Crumble<<<

We also came to a conclusion that this would taste really good with a scoop of vanilla ice cream! 🙂

Here’s to a great week ahead!

Wishing you well,

~Amanda

Upcycled DIY

DIY Friday~ Upcycled Wood Frame

Not sure if it’s the release of Hearth & Hand by Magnolia that will be coming to Target soon, OR just the simple fact that I love upcycling items. (especially when they’re free) Recently I created my now favorite upcycled DIY project. Much of the inspiration came from Joanna Gaines. (gosh, I love this lady, anyone else?) I needed to find out how I could make my own wood frame wreath decor, but at a low cost (because have you gone to the store lately and seen the prices?!)

My inspiration

(source: https://www.etsy.com/market/birch_bark)

I have been on the search for rustic wooden frames (or old wood window frames), but I haven’t had any luck (mainly because I’m looking for them to either be free or at a very budget friendly cost!) A few weeks ago I was at Ace Hardware picking up primer and I spotted the paint stir sticks sitting in the corner. Here’s the great thing about stir sticks….

1. They’re FREE

2. They’re WOOD

I had this notion that somehow I could turn these into a decor project for my small home. So…I asked the cashier if I could take as many as I wanted and her response was “Of course, they’re free aren’t they!” (My kind of cashier!) 😉 I honestly didn’t know what type of project I was going to create at the moment, but I knew something great could be made out of these simple stir sticks. I saw the p o t e n t i a l.

It was the week after Hurricane Irma when our power was still out and I was getting restless. Little Johnny was napping, my house was dirty, and starting to smell, but it was impossible to clean in the FL heat…so, I decided I needed to release my tension by getting my creative juices flowing. I went outside and stared at these stir sticks for a while, then it hit me (probably because I’ve been watching Fixer Upper lately…) these sticks can be used as a frame! I pulled out my stain, wood glue, paint brush, and away I went in creating a wooden frame!

So much joy I found the moment I brought this frame inside of my house where it hung perfectly in my kitchen. I honestly felt the release of some stress flow away from me…We all have our “things” that help us to feel better and I finally have found mine. I focus so hard on these DIY projects, which for those moments, the fear, anxiety, and overall life problems seem to just drift away…

seriously gloat over this beautiful frame every morning when I drink my coffee and remind myself of that “stress free” moment I had when creating it. (I know, “it’s just a frame”, but to me it was the actual experience in making it.) If you’ve been wondering about the name of my blog (capturing life’s gifts) much of it has to do with the fact that I have finally “captured” my own personal gifts that life has to offer…one of them is pulling out my inner creativity…

Upcycled Wood Frame: Using Stir Sticks 


{Supplies}

  • 4 wood stir sticks
  • wood glue (or a hot glue gun)
  • stain
  • very accent paint color (I went with a slate blue)
  • paint brush

{Steps} 

This time I created a video that includes the steps, since it was such an easy project. If you like the video, let me know so I can plan on doing more videos on easy DIY Home Decor projects!

Thanks for following along and I hope this inspired your creativity!

Happy DIYing!

Wishing you well,

~Amanda

DIY Items for Little Ones, Upcycled DIY

Weekend Recap & Part 2 of DIY Kids’ Chalkboard Table

Sometimes you need a good Sunday outing to get yourself back into high spirits. With the passing of Hurricane Irma life has been chaotic and nerve-racking. The built up of anticipation and preparation drained everything out of us (especially me). I am thankful that we didn’t endure any significant damage as I know so many people have (continually praying for them everyday). We were without power for a few days, but that was nothing compared to what other went through.

Now we are s l o w l y  trying to get our lives back into the groove of things. This past Sunday was a much needed time to get away for a bit. Little Johnny just got over being sick and he was restless (as was I). While Big John was at work for most of the day I decided to treat Little Johnny and myself to a day out in Mount Dora, FL (the cutest little town I have yet to come across here in FL).

My intention was to attend an event held by Renninger’s Florida Twin Markets, although it ended up getting cancelled due to the damage from the hurricane. So, instead I discovered the best Antique Market and spent some time strolling down the Marketplace and soaking in all the beauty from the old treasures. I did not end up buying anything, but I sure wanted to! 🙂

After a while Little Johnny was getting antsy, which what better way to fix that than ice cream, right?! 😉 So, we ventured over to an ice cream shop and found an amazing park for him to play at. In my terms that was a Sunday Funday  for us! We even found time in the evening when Big John got off work to fish over at Lake Ivanhoe. Little Johnny is becoming a pro as casting! I loved seeing his little hands “reel” in the fish (lots of support by daddy). 🙂 It’s truly the small joys in life that help to lift up your spirits up nowadays.

Onto the DIY Kids’ Chalkboard Table…

A while back I started this project and all that needed to be done was painting the pallets (which are used for the legs) along with attaching the table top. Well..it’s been a few weeks now and I have yet to post about my “part 2”. (Here’s the link for “part 1” if you missed reading it!) They say that completing a project in “mom time” takes you double the time, I can attest to this! Most days it’s hard to find moments for my DIY projects, but I’m not letting that stop me from actually completing them. I have come to terms that it’s just going to take me a bit longer, and that’s okay.

Here’s a secret…I’m still not actually done, but it’s “done enough” where Little Johnny can use it and I can share with you all about it. What’s missing is I need to fill the holes on the table top where Big John helped me attach it to the pallets. Not sure why I’m holding off on this, but eventually it will get done.

On my social media accounts I had people vote for the paint color of the pallets, which butterfly wings was the winner! I’m glad it was because I was leaning toward that choice too! This paint was leftover from Little Johnny’s nursery, which painting the pallets with a traditional brush  would have taken much longer (and like I said I’m in “mom time” mode), so instead I was given this amazing gift by my Aunt…a paint sprayer! Best thing out there, hands down! If you’re a DIYer like me, please but this on your list of tools to purchase (no, this is not sponsored…I just really like it!)

What do you think? Is this something you could see yourself making?

Here’s to the week ahead!

Wishing you well,

~Amanda

DIY Home Decor, DIY Seasonal Decor

DIY Friday~ $6 DIY Fall Wreath

What better way to start off the Fall season than hanging a Fall inspired wreath right on your own front door. I figured since today officially marks the beginning of September, it’s a perfect time to pull out those Fall decorations. Although as I write this to you, it’s 93 degrees outside! Definitely not “feeling” that Fall weather, but no worries I’m making my own vibes over here.

Fall is my absolute favorite season, it’s the time of year that I truly wish we were living back up in the Midwest. I miss the feeling of that crisp breeze, the smell of bonfires & burning leaves, and being able to see the “changing of colors”.  Oh yeah, don’t forget about the taste buds with pumpkin spice everything! 😉

You’re probably expecting the “Part 2” of my DIY Kids’ Table…well I sort of got side tracked and still have to write up the post along with finishing the top part (wood fill and another coat of chalkboard paint)…squirrel anyone…my mind is sometimes on a million things at once and I tend to be scattered brained, but that’s okay I’m enjoying all these projects so much!

Speaking of scattered brained…back to the actual post. You all know I’m a big fan of the Dollar Tree and you know what section is my absolute favorite? Their flower arrangements! There are so many great supplies at such a low price where you can make your own wreath. I have been wanting to make one for a while and what better way to start with a new season. By the way, I could totally see this for sale at your local Hobby Lobby. 🙂

$6 DIY Fall Wreath


{Supplies}

  • 4 of your favorite flowers/fall decor. (try to go within the same “hue” of colors)
  • wreath
  • small picture frame
  • hot glue gun

**NOTE: At a last minute decision I added burlap and adhesive letters to the supplies.

{Steps}

1.I actually used burlap to wrap the flower arrangements into a bouquet and then hot glued it to the wreath.

2. I pulled apart the pumpkins and cut off the excess stem.

3. Then I hot glued the pumpkin arrangement to the opposite side of the flower arrangement.

4. I used the small frame and letter adhesive stickers that I placed on the cardboard found within the frame. I chose to use the word “Fall”.

5. I used hot glue and attached the frame to the wreath.

That’s it! So easy and I love how I could personalize it to my own style! If you’re more of a “bling” person, the Dollar Tree has sunflowers with gems, which I thought would be beautiful on a wreath!

Happy Fall,friends! Hopefully it’s starting to cool off a bit where you are! If so, blow that breeze down to Florida…I can’t wait to share more fun Fall projects! Enjoy your labor day weekend!

Wishing you well,

~Amanda

Life Challenges, Motherhood

When life gets you down “just keep swimming”.

Leave it to a fish with short term memory loss to be brilliant with reciting a famous line, over and over and over again. Words of such simplicity, but so much meaning behind them.
Have you ever been in what I call “a funk” and it seems like life is out to get you? Well, that’s where Dory’s famous words come in handy, especially when it’s on continuous repeat in our mind “Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming“. It gives us the opportunity to shift our mindset and swim out of that deep dark tunnel (where all the bad fish are).  Someone wise once told me it’s called tunnel vision (if you’re reading this, you know who you are.)
I have interpreted this into NOT “running away from problems” but dealing with them full force with a different attitude. (Because I’ve been the type to think even the smallest of problems my world was shutting down.)
Warning: This post is not recipe related, diy related, or any parenting hacks…simply just words related to emotions…proceed at your own risk… (seriously though at least scroll to the bottom for an amazing book review)
I’m not one to hide the fact that I too have my own life struggles, just like anyone else, it’s simply human nature. Recently there have been moments where I have wanted to hide under a blanket and just be in my own “Mom fort” for a little while (long enough to BREATHE). Have you ever tried it? Imagine being in a quiet and calm place where no one can find you… Sounds so peaceful, right?!
Life is complicated, messy, and hard. PERIOD. but the good news is there’s usually always something good waiting for you (that’s the “just keep swimming part”). Bottom line is, when you recognize that this is LIFE and although the hard times aren’t necessarily going away, a little twist on your perspective can make those problems not seem as big.
Always, always, ALWAYS think about the good happenings in your life. Big John is actually really good at reminding me of this. It’s definitely difficult at times to “see” that good, but that’s where the change in perspective helps you to put on your “googles” so you can actually see where you’re swimming.
No one needs to know your struggles, we all have them, but in different ways (sometimes it just shows in our face)…what people do need to see is how you’re perceiving life. Be kind, jubilant, grateful, and humble throughout the day. Something I’m striving for when I drag myself out of bed and rise to a new day.
I needed a moment to write this to you because I had my “mommy melt down” recently where stress was just built up, and it exploded inside of me. (We have all been there, I’m sure!) I won’t go into details about the underlying factors, but let’s just say I’m overworking myself. I also came to realize my perspective on things was a bit off
I’m tired too (which I know many readers can relate) and a voice inside my head was calling for me to slow down my swim strokes, but keep going. Slow isn’t a bad thing…remember the Tortoise and the Hare story?! My point is, don’t get distracted by negativity in life, or anxious thoughts that keep swirling around in your head. Let the water guide you through the current and set ease on a new perspective. (I’m pretty sure I’m just giving myself a pep talk!)
My sister recently sent me a book (can’t thank you enough, sissy!)  Carry On Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy Beautiful Life by Glennon Doyle Melton. It’s a read that every mama should have on her list! They’re short essays about finding that balance between messy and beautiful within life situations. Along with accepting that life isn’t always “peachy”, and you know what it’s okay. She’s an authentic writer who helps you to build connections, understand that you can “do hard things”, and even gives you moments of laughter. Glennon takes you through scenarios in her everyday life where her perspective on things started to change, and guess what? She’s living a much happier lifestyle. She kept swimming.

Today my friends, take these thoughts with you…


  • keep swimming through life, but with a new perspective…meaning-be grateful for what you have, stop comparing to others, and hold your head high to find the beauty in your daily grind. (I know… easier said than done, but it’s definitely an achievable thing with persistence and the right mindset.)
  • everyday see what you have to be thankful for, maybe even make a mental list
  • see the good out of those messy situations (trust me there usually is at least 1 good thing)
  • it’s okay that life is messy sometimes,  you will survive (you may start to become the best swimmer yet!)
  • self care-slow down and take care of yourself
I write off here leaving you with a gift of reading. I’ll pause here so you can look this book up on Amazon and purchase this as a present for yourself (consider it from me;) )
Remember when life gets you down, let the wise words of Dory whisper to you on repeat “just keep swimming”, and you’ll whisper back to yourself…

“Be grateful, Be humble, Be calm. AND Remember who controls the winds and the waves.”

A bit of a deeper post for me, but a much needed one.

Wishing you well,

~Amanda