Turn Your Backyard into a Winter Wonderland

When winter starts to creep in, you might feel sad that you have to say goodbye to your backyard. It’s hard to make the most of it when there’s no sun, and if you grow anything out there, you need to start protecting things from the cold weather. But just because it won’t be hot and sunny anymore, it doesn’t mean you have to stop using your yard. If you love being outdoors, you can keep using it and enjoy it as much as possible. There are lots of changes you can make, especially to your deck or patio, so that you can sit outside in the winter.

Deck or Patio Cover

Before you do anything else, think about how you can create a cover to sit under in your backyard. You could do this in a few different ways. There’s the possibility of extending the roof of your house at the back or perhaps putting up an awning. Another option is to have a gazebo cover, parasol, or something else you can move up and down. With a cover over your deck or patio, you can stop too much heat from escaping. So if you’re sitting using a heater or enjoying a fire, you can keep everyone warmer. It can also keep you dry if it starts to rain or snow.

Outdoor Heaters

When the weather is cold, it’s pretty hard to stay warm when you’re sitting still. So if you want to sit outdoors, you’ll need something that’s going to help generate some heat. One possible option is to use moveable outdoor heaters, so that you can put them where you want and store them when you’re not using them. More permanent heaters are available too and can make a great feature for your garden. You could have standing heaters or perhaps ones that you mount onto a wall. It’s important to remember that you’ll need energy for these heaters to run so think about the practicality of that.

 

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A Fireplace or Fire Pit

Another option to keep warm is to have a fireplace or a fire pit. These are convenient, eco-friendly, super warm, and they can look great too. Anytime you want to sit outside and keep warm, you just need to light a fire, and you can keep it burning for hours. Plus, you can’t toast marshmallows on an electric heater. A fire pit creates a fantastic focal point for gathering around with friends or family, and you could cook with it if you wanted to. If you get a free standing one, you can easily move it when you’re not using it.

Comfortable Furniture

Once you have a fire (or a heater) to sit around, you need somewhere to sit. You might have outdoor furniture for the summer, but it’s not necessarily good for winter too. Perhaps you will choose to make your existing furniture cozier by adding blankets, cushions, and throws. You can make sure everything in more comfortable and plush to help everyone stay warm.  Or you might buy some new furniture just for winter. However, remember to think about the practicality of any furniture and accessories you use. Ideally, you can take any textile items inside or store them somewhere so that they stay dry.

A Hot Tub

Sitting in a tub of water outside might not be at the top of your list during the winter. But if it’s a hot tub, you can stay warm and have lots of fun. A permanent hot tub in your backyard can be used all year, but it also takes up a lot of room. If you want to save space, you could consider an inflatable hot tub instead. Relaxed Wellbeing has some top recommendations for inflatable spas. However, you should be careful having an inflatable hot tub outdoors in winter. Some say not to use them below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, which is fairly cold, but there are many places where temperatures drop lower. Hot tubs can create great parties, but only if they can work.

 

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A Sauna

If staying warm in a hot tub doesn’t appeal to you, you might want to consider building a sauna instead. In some colder countries, like Sweden and Finland, practically everyone has a sauna in their home. If you want a sauna in your backyard, you don’t have to have that much space. You only need to build a small cabin with a heater and space to sit. Some saunas are heated with a wood burning stove, which is easy to install. Others require gas or electricity lines, which complicates things a little. Before you invest in a sauna, do your research into style, size, and what sort of heater to use.

Lots of Light

Don’t forget that you’ll need plenty of light if you want to use your backyard as the days get shorter. Don’t just concentrate on your deck or patio, but light up the rest of your yard too. You might have a tree you want to string some lights through, or perhaps a path that you want to highlight with a row of lanterns. For convenient outdoor lighting, try using solar-powered lights. They will allow you to have lighting without wiring everything in. You can also use natural light from candles, torches, and lanterns. You might also want to have some lights that are wired in, though.

Set Up a Tent

For family fun, pitching a tent in the winter can be great. If you feel like your lawn gets neglected, some camping with plenty of warm sleeping bags and blankets is a good idea. You could even consider setting up a large teepee or yurt, which is fantastic if you want to have a larger space to enjoy. Some of them are even big enough to have beds inside, or perhaps to set up a cozy dining space.

You don’t have to stop using your backyard in the winter. There are plenty of ways you can make it a fun winter space and enjoy it even through the coldest months.

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How to Add a Burst of Summer to Your Home

Now that summer is well and truly here, you will want your home to reflect the new season. During the wintertime, it is all about home comforts and making sure things are cosy and inviting. The summer months are a time when you can make things feel lighter and brighter, blurring the line between the indoors and the outdoors. Adding a burst of summer to your home doesn’t have to be too difficult, but it is always a pleasure to come back to a home that reflects the current season. So, here are a few things you can do to give your house more of a summertime vibe.

 

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Remove the Traces of Winter

 

If there are any traces of winter still lingering around in your home, now is the time to store them away somewhere so you can replace them with accessories that give off more of a summery vibe. Some examples of things that definitely give off a sense of winter include thick rugs, big blankets, candles and heaters. Once you remove these last traces of winter from your home, you will really be able to enjoy the summer a lot more!

 

Bring Some Life Indoors

 

There is nothing like some fresh flowers for making your home appear like it is bursting with life, so why not choose some roses, lilies, magnolias or any other favourites you have? Another option is to select some new houseplants. Having some flowers and plants in your home has been proven to boost your mood so you should certainly consider getting some to brighten up the summer months.

 

Freshen Up Your Airflow

 

Of course, opening up doors and windows is the best way to get some fresh air flowing into your home, but you can also try a few things with the artificial airflow that you have going on. If you have a ceiling fan, turn it to go counter-clockwise which will push the air downwards and create a stronger draught. If you have an air conditioner, you may want to replace the filter so that you can avoid any malfunctions. And if you use artificial air fresheners, try choosing one that gives off a fresh and fragrant summer scent.

 

Invite More Natural Light Indoors

 

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First of all, to bring in more natural light you can make sure that your windows are sparkling clean both inside and out so that you can get an unobstructed view to the outdoors. If you are struggling to tackle some of the outdoor windows, you could use an equal parts water-vinegar solution and a squeegee. You could also replace your heavy winter drapes with some lighter window treatments. Choose some thin blinds instead in some lighter colours that welcome in the summer sun.

 

Give Your Front Door a Lick of Paint

 

You may not feel like tackling any major DIY jobs when the weather is warmer, but a simple job that you can do to make the world of difference is to give your front door a lick of paint. This way, you have a nice welcome to set the mood every time you get back home. Start by sanding it down so you have a smooth surface to start from and then a couple of coats should do the trick. Complete the job with a shiny new house number and doormat.

 

Stock Up On Summer Essentials

 

There is nothing like stocking up on a few summer essentials to give you that warm feeling. Ironically, one of the first things that you should get is some ice cold popsicles! This way, you will always have a refreshing treat lined up when the temperatures start soaring. While you are looking in your freezer, it is a great time to give it a defrost and clear out anything that is leftover in there that you don’t want anymore. Other common items that you will need for summer include sunblock and insect repellant.

 

Sort Out Your Garden Area

 

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If you are lucky enough to have a garden area, you should make sure that everything looks as good as it possibly can. If you have a patio or decking area, you can take it on with some warm, soapy water, a scrubbing brush and a hose. Once you have a nice clean area to base yourself, you can arrange your furniture in a social way that encourages conversation. Some potted plants, candles, pillows, and outdoor lighting can really set the mood when the sun goes down. You can also invest in some sort of outdoor heaters in case things start to get a little chilly.

 

Restyle Your Kitchen Shelves

 

One of the best ways that you can get your home summer-ready is by getting rid of that sense of clutter. There are all kinds of creative storage options out there, but one of the best ones is giving your kitchen shelves a restyle. Work out which are the kitchen items you never use (there are bound to be a few) and get them stored away in a different location. When you give yourself that extra breathing space, it gives you the feeling of being in a vacation home.

 

Display Some Fresh Fruit in a Bowl

 

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Fresh fruit is a wonderful summery snack, and it also looks very appealing when you display it in a bowl. Choose a few different kinds that give your table a multicoloured feel, but don’t forget to actually eat it rather than just looking at it! If you get yourself some fresh oranges, a glass pitcher and a juicer, you can start off the day right with a nice refreshing glass of juice.

 

Change Your Furniture Accessories

 

Even if you don’t want to change your furniture altogether, you can still bring in some different items like rugs, cushions and blankets. Try to choose some light and airy colours rather than the deeper ones that are popular during the winter. Just this simple change can really make a big difference in giving off more of a summery vibe in your home.       

Say Chic! Elegant Party Touches For Your Special Occasion


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When you’ve got a special occasion coming up, you can start to get super excited about all of the plans. Whether it’s a big birthday, anniversary, or milestone celebration, a party should always be in order. But, this can’t be any old party – oh no. It has to be a hit! So, you’re going to want to make sure that your party stands out. To do that, you should focus on a few elegant touches that can take your celebratory occasion from cool and casual to classic and chic in no time at all. And to do that, here’s what you need to set everything off in style.

 

Hire A Planner

 

Sometimes, it’s nice to plan a party yourself. But, you have to admit, it can be a completely stressful occasion. So, you might want to think about hiring an event planner. If you’re busy with work, it can be a lifesaver. Then, you don’t have to worry about decorations or music choices, because your planner can handle it all. And if you’re hoping for a theme that wows, your expert will have you covered.

 

Hire A Stunning Location

 

This is definitely something that your party planner will cover off for you, but you’re going to need to approve everything. They’re going to give you options, but you still have to make a killer choice. If you want to wow with your special occasion, you’re going to need the stunning location to do it from. Whether that’s a classic castle style hotel, or a sweet little barn in the middle of nowhere, just make sure it has an air of elegance, and you’re good to go.

 

Go All Out With Refreshments

 

As everything starts to come together, you’re going to want to make sure that some of the most notable parts are on point. And we all know what means we have to cover off the refreshments first. You might want to think about creating your own cocktail menu, but that’s not all. With a custom drinks design like Wine Design produces, you can personalize your wine bottles to really add an elegant touch. Then, your planner should be able to pull out all out all of the stops with a caterer too, meaning your food will be a sure fire hit all night long.

 

Get Creative With Gift Bags

 

If you want your guests to be super impressed, why not think about handing out gift bags and party favors too? With cute options to choose from that suit your elegant theme and venue, you’ll be making sure that your memorable occasion lives on forever, in your mind and in your guests’.

 

Pamper Yourself Pretty

 

Finally, you may want to think about your pre-party pampering prep on the run up to your special occasion. Every girl wants to look ultra glam when it’s their day, so you may want to work on your glowing skin, shiny hair, and even bright eyes too. Pamper away, get your nails done, and book a hair stylist for the day of the party. Then, you’ll feel just as elegant as your special occasion is going to be.

 

 

What To Look For When Hiring Professionals For Your Wedding


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When it comes to organising a wedding, some people will stick with friends and relatives. But there are some jobs that these friends and family can’t do. Unless you personally know a registrar, you’ll need one to legally get married. Then there’s the added benefits that come with a hiring a professional. They won’t get too drunk and forget to take photos for half the night, neither will they play an inappropriate DJ setlist in the evening.

 

That said, you shouldn’t just hire any old professional to work at your wedding. Research is important in order to get right individual for you. Here are some of main factors to consider when looking for wedding professionals.

 

Cost

 

Expensive rates don’t always entail the best service. It’s worth always collecting multiple quotes from different registrars, photographers, DJs and florists.

 

There are lots of cost-saving techniques. Getting married in winter will often get you less expensive rates as this is when there are fewer weddings, and so those in the wedding trade will compete against one another with deals in order to get business. Bundle deals can be another way of saving money, giving you multiple services at once.

 

Be aware of those that try and sell you extras. Do you really need flowers on every table, or will a large flower feature somewhere central do? Is champagne necessary on the exit to the ceremony, or can you wait until the meal and reception? A breakdown of all the costs can often be useful, so that you know exactly what you’re paying for.

 

Of course, if cost is your main concern, hiring friends and family to do certain jobs may be more sensible. Just be aware that you may not get the desired quality that you’re after.

 

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Reputation

 

Checking someone’s reputation is very important. Anyone can pass themselves off as a photographer or DJ, so check that they’re somewhat established (a good quality website and social media are good things to look for). Reading reviews can also help you to find someone that’s good quality. There are plenty of review sites online. Don’t disregard word of mouth too – reviews and testimonials online can be faked, but if you’re hearing it straight from a previous client’s mouth, you know that they’re worth considering.

 

Experience

 

Someone’s experience can also count for a lot. A catering service that have been cooking food for weddings for ten years may be better equipped than a brand new company. Relevant wedding experience is also important. Just because a DJ has been playing clubs for several years doesn’t mean that they’ll also be able to transfer their talents to a wedding setting, where the audience is different and children may have to be catered for. Many people in the wedding trade will keep a portfolio of their work, either as a photo booklet or online. Always ask to see this so that you get idea of the past clients they’ve worked with.

Top Tips To Turn Your Home From Shabby to Chic


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The general maintenance of our homes can be a real upkeep. The little cracks in the walls, broken cabinets, scuffed skirting boards and old window sills are all details that can creep up on us. Keeping our homes looking in tip top condition can sometimes feel like a second job and can feel overwhelming when we look around and see that there’s so much to do.

 

Well fret no longer. Today we are pleased to share with you some super simple tricks on how to fix those little details, get stuck into a little DIY and transform your home from shabby to chic in no time at all.

 

Start With Paintwork

 

Old and tired paintwork can make all the difference to the look and feel of your home. So giving your home a well deserved lick of paint is one of the best things you can do if you feel like your home is looking a little bit sorry for itself. Put some thought into the different colours you think would best reflect the style of your home, and the mood of each room that you want to achieve, before you even think of picking up a paintbrush.

 

Neutral walls are usually the most popular colours as they create a great background canvass for us then to be able to add colour in other more interchangeable decorative areas of our home. But there are endless variations of white, cream and eggshell so put a little research into the different colour options that you prefer. Painting one wall in a room in a really bold colour is an interesting idea to add a bit of personality and style to your living spaces. A deep red wall in a living room, a duck egg blue bathroom wall or a dusky pink wall in your bedroom could add a whole new dynamic to your living spaces and make them feel much more interesting and unique.

 

Skirting Boards

 

Skirting boards are a really important area of our homes to keep an eye on. It’s easy for them to look old and become loose and as they are an important frame to our rooms, keeping them in good condition is essential in maintaining an attractive home. If you have any marks on your skirting boards it’s high time to give them a new coat of paint. Covering the top and bottom of the boards with masking tape will make sure you don’t paint outside your skirting boards, onto the walls and the floors.

 

If you have any loose skirting boards or any that have fallen off it’s time to get them secured down once and for all. There are special wood seal glues that are designed purely for DIY jobs such as this and make the task at hand really easy and quick. Investing in a glue gun to make the job even easier is a good idea so look online at companies like Glue Guns Direct to see what models are available for the job you need doing.

 

Reinvent Old Furniture

 

Look around your home and look at any old, dark furniture that perhaps is pulling down the overall decor of your home. You’d be surprised at how many weird and wonderful ways there are of taking your old furniture and decorating them so that they look modern, fresh and bring an entirely different look to your home.

 

An old chest of drawers can be bought back to life by painting the drawers different colours. By painting each drawer a different colour you will add vibrancy and energy to a boring and basic chest of drawers. Sorry looking bedside tables can be instantly transformed into Parisian chic by whitewashing them so that they look like they’ve been picked up in a trendy French flea market.

 

Old dining room tables can be sanded down and painted rich mahogany wood and then varnished over for extra shine. Neglected corner tables can be transformed by painting just the surface or just the legs in a colour that would compliment the overall colour scheme of that room. Tired looking bathroom cabinets can be given a pretty look by painting just the frame and the sides a tranquil, calming colour or even in nautical stripes if you’re feeling particularly creative.

 

The process of transforming the old furniture in your home is really fun and is a really cheap, well actually practically free, way of breathing new life into your home and adding special touches here and there that will make a big difference.

 

Reupholstering

 

Reupholstering furniture is another really cost-effective way of transforming your furniture without having to start from scratch and go and buy new. Our sofas naturally age over time so it’s natural to look at them after a few years and feel that they are dragging down the look and feel of our living rooms. However reupholstering furniture is a much cheaper solution to buying new and offer fantastic creativity when choosing the colours, textiles and patterns you feel will best suit the overall style of your living room. Research online different sofas that you like and you feel would fit well into your home and then go to your local upholstery company and talk them through your ideas and see what they can do.

 

It’s All In The Detail

 

The rest is really up to you. No one knows what needs doing around your home better than you, and we all tend to have some rooms that needs a little more TLC than others. Kitchens can always benefit from tip top organisation. Deep rolling kitchen drawers always help keep our kitchens organised and clutter free. Cute spice, oil and vinegars racks keep the items we need close at hand, within arms reach, but as an attractive feature rather than scattered around, untidily on our kitchen surfaces.

 

Bathrooms are rooms that should feel calming and tranquil and can always benefit from new rugs, curtains and towels every couple of years. Due to the humidity in this room, the textiles in this room tend to age much quicker than in any other room.

 

Bedrooms and living rooms are all about ambience and looking inviting and cosy. With the above in mind and some little touches like pretty candles, low-lit lamps, chic mirrors and attractive rugs your home can look chic and sophisticated in no time at all.

Blanket Scarf Style


Oh man, it has been a hot minute since I have shared an Outfit Inspiration!

Yes, this is a simple, easy to throw together outfit, but the best part about this outfit is the blanket scarf.

It is from Jo-Ann Fabrics and is the easiest DIY ever! At the beginning of the season they came out with some great plaid prints in a variety of fabrics. Some were a classic, thicker, flannel like fabric, but this one was a lighter weight fabric.

I loved the colors as well as the weight of the fabric, this piece goes with many outfits in my closet.

I simply took it, and one other plaid fabric, to the cutting counter and asked if they could cut a square pieces for me. Once at home, if needed, I gently touched up and frayed/uneven parts on the edges. No sewing involved! 

I love it and have worn it often! Let me know if you try this yourself.

Outfit Inspiration:

Black Sweater – Target

Blanket Scarf – Jo-Ann Fabrics

Boot Cut Jeans – Old Navy

Red Flats – Target

Personalized Phone Case^ – Pink Sugar Crystals

Happy Shopping!
^A Leopard Print Lindsay Supporter!

Easy Halloween Decor


Halloween is so close and I am so excited! Yes, I realize it is still September, but Starbucks has already release the PSL and the first day of fall is only a few days away, don’t judge me. 

I popped into Target the other day and frolicked happily through their display. I am rather impressed with myself, I only bought six items. Success! 

(This has nothing to do with the fact that I have already purchased items from Michael’s Crafts and JoAnns. We’ll just pretend that didn’t happen.)

Anyway, last year I shared my Floating Witch Hats, this year  I came up with two really easy “DIY” decor pieces that anyone can do. Yes, I mean that, you could have two bottles of wine and still manage to get these done.

Be sure to remove the tags from all your fun purchases. (I’m looking at you, Mom.)

First Piece – 


Items needed:

Bird Cage – Target

(You don’t need to get all fancy, the one in the link will do.)

Crow Skeleton – Target 

(NOT a real one, that’s just weird. Also, NOT a live one, you don’t want that mess in your house.)

Now, take the crow (you can give it a name if you want to, I’ll call mine Herbert), open the cage, put him (or her if you have given it a girl’s name) in it, close the cage.

Yep, that easy. 


Look how happy he is, he loves it!

Second Piece – 


Items Needed:

Small Cloche – Target

(Be sure to get the one from the Halloween section, it has a cute bat on top. Plus it is made of plastic, so if you are doing this while full of wine, it’s unlikely you’ll break it.)

Purple Bat Lights  – Target

Orange Pumpkin Lights – Target

(These items are in the  $1-$3-$5 section in store only. If you go, don’t drink or text and drive, thanks.)

AA Batteries – 2 per each light set. 

(Yes, Target carries them too.)


Gently unwind lights from inset in box, and put the batteries in, turn lights on and look at how pretty they are.

Gently place lights in the top of the cloche, spreading them around as evenly as you can. 

Place the bottom of the cloche on, be sure to leave the battery packs out. Flip back over and voila! 


It might take a few tries to move the lights around to how you like them.

These are perfect placed on a mantel or side table!


Woohoo! You did it! Now go make yourself some Halloween Munch to celebrate! 

Care Packages for Homeless

Once a week I drive through an intersection that has a homeless person hoping for help. 

This inspired me to create care packages to hand out, because I believe we all have the power to help and to make someones day better.

   

I gathered supplies from my local grocery store and Target.
  

My supplies include:

Food/Snacks:

Granola Bars

Apple Sauce

PB & J Crackers

Cheddar Crackers

Honey Roasted Peanuts

Juice/Water Boxes

Candy (I can admit, this was left over from Halloween.)

Personal Care/Other:

Tissue Packs

Travel Deodorant

Toothbrush

Travel Toothpaste

Chapstick 

Hand Warmers

Freezer Bags

Spoons (not pictured)

  

In each freezer bag I put:

1 Apple Sauce & Spoon

1 package of each Crackers

1 package Peanuts

1 Toothbrush

1 Toothpaste

1 Deodorant 

1 Chapstick

1 Tissue Packet

2 Granola bars

2 Juice/Water Boxes

2 Hand Warmers

Handful of candy 
  

I created four bags and have them I my car where I can grab one easily to pass out to those in need.

 

I hope you will be inspired to do something similar and help those in need in your town.

DIY Floating Witch Hats

I love a good Halloween craft, and this one is really easy. It is also a simple way to add some flair to any home!

   
 
Items needed:

Witch Hats – Target (I got three.)

2-3ft of Ribbon (1 1/2 inch width, colored. I used green.)

Tulle – Michaels Crafts (I used Sparkly Orange.)

Black Glitter Roses – Michaels Crafts (I used purple.)

Hot Glue Gun (with glue sticks)

Crystal Thread

Sewing Needle

Pony Beads (2 per hat)

Push Pins (One per hat)

Something to prop the hat up on while decorating. I used a plastic “megaphone” on a roll of paper towels. This helped to fill in the tall part of the hat, and made it easier to create on.

 
Ribbon Hat:

Place hat on your prop.
Take your ribbon and gently wrap it around the mid-point of the hat, crossing it in the back, edges should hang off the brim. The ribbon should be angled, see picture below.

Using your hot glue gun, glue top portion to the hat first, then glue the cross over in the back. 

  

Rose Hat:

Prop hat up.

Remove two rose heads from the stems. 

Using hot glue gone, glue the roses on the side of the hat where the “cone” part meets the start of the flat brim, be sure the bottoms of the roses are facing each other. 

  

Tulle Hat:

Prop up your last hat.

Using 5 feet of your tulle (be warned, if you’re using one with glitter, it is about to get everywhere). Wrap the tulle around the bottom part of the “cone” of the hat, and form/tie a bow. 

Fluff out the loops of the bow, and the part around the hat. 

  

Preparing to hang your hats:

(These are the steps you’ll take for each hat.)

Cut about 5 feet of the crystal thread, then slide two pony beads onto thread. 

Hold both ends of thread together, so the beads fall to the middle.

  
Gently invert the hat so it is inside out.

Put both ends of the thread through the needle, and push through the top point of the hat. 

  
Very carefully reach through the other side and of the hat, and pull the needle through. You will flip the hat back the correct way, and pull until the beads are in the tip of the hat.

  
I tied a couple of knots to keep the thread from getting too crazy.

Hanging your hats:

Decide how low you want to hang your hats, and tie the thread at that length around the push pin. 

I tied mine multiple times, to be sure it wouldn’t come undone and fall down.

  

Decide where you want them to hang, be careful if you need to use a ladder, then simply push the pin into the ceiling!

  

I hung all of mine in our entry way, and they had such a fun element to this season’s decor! 

   
Green Ribbon Hat


Purple Glitter Rose Hat

    
Orange Tulle Hat

 
If you have any questions, comment and I’ll answer them!

Happy Crafting!

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