Valentine’s Day Fun and Romance + HM #170

Get creative ideas for Valentine’s Day fun and let the date night romance begin. Plus link up at Home Matters Linky Party #170 with recipes, DIY, crafts, decor. #ValentinesDayFun #HomeMattersParty

Valentine’s Day Fun and Romance + HM #170

Ah, the season of love. Whether you are looking for some fun and crafty decor ideas, sweet and tasty treats, or romantic dinners, I gathered some great ideas for Valentine’s Day fun and romance in my mini-roundup. I know my fellow co-host have some great ideas too, so please hop around to see them all.

Have a Happy Valentine’s Day!

DIY Valentine’s Tissue Paper Cone Tree from Shirley @ Intelligent Domestications


Healthy Appetizers for Valentine’s Day from Vicki @ Five Spot Green Living


Free Valentine’s Day Printables from Jenn @ Clean & Scentsible


Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookie Recipe from Lorelai @ Life With Lorelai


Valentine’s Day Fun & Romance Blog Hop

Click through all the Hosts and Co-hosts blogs to see the complete Themed Roundup!

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A Home Matters Themed Roundup

Last Week’s Theme: Mardi Gras Celebration Ideas

Next Week’s Theme: Snow Day Ideas – Rock the Boredom

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Emily @ Domestic DeadlineFacebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

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Nina @ Vintage Mama’s CottageFacebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

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Each week, we like to feature some of the awesome posts shared at last week’s party. We hope you will be inspired by these creative and talented bloggers who share their best recipes, DIY projects, crafts, home decor, organization ideas, and more. Enjoy!

Check out this week’s features below.


Under the Stairs Closet Makeover Reveal from Emily @ Sprinkled With Color

PIN here.

Flank Steak Sandwich with Blue Cheese from Linda @ Poinsettia Drive

PIN here.

Chocolate Trifles for Two Recipe from Miranda @ Cookie Dough & Oven Mitt

PIN here.

Painted Upholstered Chair Makeover Tutorial from Wendi @ H2O Bungalow & The North House

PIN here.

Easy DIY Candy Heart Bath Bombs from Crystal @ Hello Creative Family

PIN here.


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Get creative ideas for Valentine's Day fun and let the date night romance begin. Plus link up at Home Matters with recipes, DIY, crafts, decor. #ValentinesDayFun #HomeMattersParty Click To Tweet


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How To Create A Kids’ Playhouse

Summer and kids go hand-in-hand, and your kids are going to love these ideas from regular contributor, Megan Wild. Build a Playhouse in your Backyard!


How to Create a Kids’ Playhouse

Building Memories Your Family Will Cherish


As the weather warms, dreams of kids playing outside until dusk, chasing lightning bugs and feeling the grass between your toes begin to dance in your head.

There is perhaps no outdoor activity more quintessentially youthful than playing in a backyard playhouse. Thanks to kids’ imagination and ingenuity, the outdoor abode doesn’t have to resemble the Swiss Family Robinson’s intricate, multi-room treehouse. Heck, it doesn’t even have to be in a tree.

At the moment, however, you are staring at a bare backyard. So how can you win parent of the year and take your backyard from boring to the neighborhood kids’ favorite hangout? Creating your child’s dream playhouse is within reach, even if you don’t have the acumen for complicated DIY projects. Here are four easy steps to creating the perfect playhouse for your children.


Check Local Ordinances

Start by checking with your local municipality to ensure you are following any existing regulations. Some communities have rules about how large these structures can be, how close to the property line they should sit, and whether they need to be built on the ground. Some municipalities may ban treehouses altogether, and only allow playhouses in the yard.

This is also the time to check with your homeowners insurance. Some insurance carriers do have regulations about structures like playhouses, and you’ll want to be sure you’re covered before moving forward.



Select a Design

Now that the paperwork is out of the way, you can get started with the fun stuff, like picking a design. Be honest with yourself about your do-it-yourself abilities. Sure, an insulated playhouse with lighting and Wi-Fi might be your child’s dream, but is it within your budget and ability? Thankfully, there are a variety of designs and options available online that can be matched with your time commitment and level of ability.

This playhouse design, created by a loving grandfather, has something for everyone, including a mini climbing wall, slide and plenty of roofed-in play space. It’s grandkid approved, no surprise there!

A rustic fort design is perfect for families who want something other than a traditional-looking playhouse.

Some of you might balk at the idea of building your own playhouse from scratch, or you might be anxious about the amount of time and skill it takes to get this project right. If so, look for inspiration from parents who took the ubiquitous Little Tykes plastic playhouse and gave it a remodel you have to see to believe. This is also a great option for families on a tight budget, since these playhouses can often be found at yard sales or resale websites.



Tools, Supplies and Building

Now that you’ve got a design selected, it’s time to get your hands dirty! Building a playhouse is a great opportunity to teach basic handyman skills to older kids, like hammering a nail and sanding wood. You may want to do the more dangerous sawing and cutting at a time when the kids aren’t underfoot.

For a project this size, logistics are important. For example, once you purchase the lumber at your local hardware store, there’s the matter of transportation. All the lumber and additional supplies are heavy, and since this is a temporary project, you may want to consider renting equipment to help you move it. Or stock up on aspirin or ibuprofen and invite several friends to help with loading and unloading.

As for the building, follow the old adage to measure twice, cut once and follow basic safety guidelines while the backyard is a mini-construction site. This should be a fun project, not a stressful one. Finally, remember to finish the wood in a way that will protect it from the elements and is also safe for kids.



Finishing Touches

You’ll be looking out your back window at this house every day, so finish strong with a few final touches. If you want to be able to see your kids, leave the doors and windows off, but older kids might get a kick out of being able to have a more private place to call their own.

A coat of paint on the door, a flower planter or pot, or some LED lights strung across the roof could turn the playhouse into a mini-home. Pinterest is a good place to look for ideas to give your basic tree house some curb appeal.


Pee-Wee Herman shouldn’t be the only person who gets to have an awesome playhouse.  Creating a playhouse for your children or grandchildren is a large project, but the rewards are even bigger. Sure, there are the moments of peace and quiet you’ll gain while the kids are out playing. More importantly, you’ll give your family countless memories of a happy childhood spent in the perfect backyard playhouse.

Visit Megan at her blog, Your Wild Home!


Have you you built a playhouse?

What creative ideas for a playhouse do you have?






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Home For The Holidays

Welcome to My

Home for the Holidays!

A little over a week ago, I showed you some of the decorations in my house as we are Getting Ready For Christmas. You can see them here. Today, I thought I would share more of the decorations in our home. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

Our entry, full of fresh Christmas greens, offers a Christmasy aroma as you step through the door. Pine cones, garlands, jingle bells and snowflakes provide a warm and welcoming entry. The pot belly stove is there year round, but the addition of the old fashioned street lamp adds a beautiful glow.

Of course, what would Christmas be without Mistletoe?!? *Mwah!*

We love our little snow covered village. All the lights twinkling through the windows, and all the people milling about brings lots of wondering about their small town lives to mind.

And what do you think of our wonderful Mistletoe Stick? It hangs above the little town on a Snowflake hook so we can take it off and have great fun! I also have a couple of my snowflakes (like the ones hanging from my recessed lighting and other places around the house) hanging from the branch. I love the shadows the Mistletoe Stick creates.

This lovely Silver Filigree and Crystal Angel sits atop the crystal hutch in my living room. It is surrounded by garland and pearl lights. The lights are the same ones I used to decorate the little 4-foot tree in my mother’s room for her last Christmas. The poinsettia ribbon matches the bow work on my throw pillows.

My Great Grandmother’s wash basin and pitcher bedazzle with poinsettia and lighted garland. It sits above my mother’s hutch (probably my most favorite piece of furniture of hers) that is also festooned with the snowflakes.

Here is our beautiful fireplace, the focal point in our den. It’s a cozy place to sit and relax and listen to the firewood crackling as it warms the room and hearts.

Santa Claus, oil lamps, music boxes, and a large bowl with candle, Christmas greens and cranberries accompany the poinsettia garland running across the mantle. On the far right sits the snowman mug and plate just waiting for Christmas Eve to be filled with milk and cookies for Santa.

A basket filled with firewood (our version) and Christmas greens is tied with a gorgeous huge bow. These Christmas greens make the room smell wonderful.

You may have noticed that we have no stockings hung by the fireplace with care…

That’s because the stockings hang in the staircase in the middle of our home. They can be seen by visitors when they first arrive, and we can look at and wished upon the stockings all season long. My mother made needlepoint stockings for all of her grandchildren, they are amazing. The stockings get hung by the fireplace on Christmas Eve that way we can enjoy the fireplace without fear of destroying the stockings.

My kitchen is filled with childhood memories. Many of the Christmas arts and crafts my children created over the years hang happily in the heart of the home.

My formal dining room doesn’t usually get used for a large fancy holiday dinner. Our tradition is to have German lunch meats for our big celebration on Christmas Eve. The table is dressed with my mother’s hand cross-stitched tablecloth, and set for Christmastime with a special centerpiece crafted piece by piece. The red dishes used are Rory’s that she inherited this past year from her paternal grandmother.

Here’s a closer view of the centerpiece…

Pine candle holders surround a round sparkly gold box and have poinsettias, glittered baby’s breath,  lightly glittered pine cones, acrylic Christmas trees (salt and pepper shakers), and iridescent glass balls tucked around and about. On the gold box is placed my gold riser that is carved all the way around with angels playing musical instruments. At the top of the centerpiece my acrylic angel sounds the horn of glad tidings. I love the way all of the different pieces sparkle and shine in the candlelight.

I hope you have enjoyed your tour of our Home for the Holidays. We wish you a blessed and very Merry Christmas!

Do you have any special things that have been passed down through the generations for Christmas decorating?

What are some of your family decorating traditions?

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