Halloween Party Wrap Up 2013

Last Saturday we hosted our 2nd Annual Halloween Party! I REALLY love Halloween so I’m finally glad to have a Halloween Party tradition. If you ask anyone who knows me, they would tell you I’m kind of into ridiculously obsessed with anything themed. So Halloween is right up there on my list of favorite times of the year. I don’t ever like spending exorbitant amounts of money on decorations so I do a lot dollar store shopping, re-using and crafting. This year I hit up The Dollar Tree, Walmart and Hobby Lobby (with coupons of course!) for all of my decorations.  Here are a few of my favorites:

I went a little nuts with Halloween colored fake flowers this year. They were just calling my name and I knew I could find a lot of uses for them:

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I found the glittered skull in the above pic for $2.00 and it graced my kitchen window ledge for the month of October.

We also put up the paper bats and the yarn spiderweb that we had last year.

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I found little black birds at the dollar store so those were also perched throughout the house.

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For our Halloween party, we put out our giant creepy talking Halloween guy.

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This was a gift from my father in law. My husband tried to give it back and we actually shipped it all the way back to Atlanta from our house in Colorado. Then I called his dad and asked if he could ship it back because I wanted it so bad! So this is a well traveled creepy dude.

I also put up signs on all of the doors I didn’t want anyone to open!

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For party food, I had all of these visions of my wonderfully spooky appetizers and treats. But, my Pinterest eyes were bigger than my Pinterest stomach and I just made fajitas! I did make Mummy Dogs (hot dogs wrapped in crescent roll dough) for the kids though.

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And a friend brought some of the best queso I’ve ever eaten.

My neighbor brought adorable Frankenstein pudding cups with cookie crumble topping and another friend brought Oreo Pops and cupcakes.

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Last year I tried crafts for the kids, but this year I smartened up and just taped poster board to the wall and let them color away!

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For the adults, I had my second annual trivia contest, which seems to be a hit!

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I had so much fun at this party and may or may not have had too many glasses of Halloween Sangria.

There are about a million ideas I wanted to try for decorating, food, crafts, etc that I didn’t get to this year. But many of them are on my Halloween Pinterest Board. I can’t wait until next year! And if you want a recap of last year’s party, click here for the 2012 Halloween Party Wrap Up!

~Erin

Clean out that Email Inbox!

I am the first to admit that I get too many emails. I actually have 4 email addresses (1 personal, 1 for the organizing business, 1 for my ‘day job’, and one for extra or junk email). Sounds a little excessive doesn’t it? Well, to be honest it works for me. I could forward everything to one email address, but I really like to compartmentalize and it helps keep me focused when I want to work on a specific thing.

For the most part, my emails are fairly streamlined. I know who they are coming from and they usually require some sort of response or action. The exception to this is my ‘junk email.’ This is an email I have specifically set up for when I sign up for contests, giveaways, social media sites, coupons, or pretty much anything that may come with emails trying to sell me something. From time to time, it gets out of hand. We’ve been sick at our house and I actually haven’t checked my ‘junk’ mail for 10 days. I looked today and had 125 emails in there! That is ridiculous! Instead of just deleting them, I went through them and ‘unsubscribed’ from most of them. Opt OutIt took about 20 minutes to jump through all of the ‘unsubscribe’ hoops, but I did it. My plan is to wait another 10 days and see if there is any progress in the inbox after the clean-out.

Here are my tips for streamlining my emails:

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-Only sign up for things you think you will use, need or want in the future.

-If you realize you are no longer needing emails you receive, don’t just delete them, click on the unsubscribe button. This should prevent future emails from the same company.

-If you have a ton of emails in your inbox and want to find the ones that have the ‘unsubscribe’ feature, you can filter your emails by the word ‘unscubscribe’.

-If you are on the list of those friends and family members who love to forward mass emails and you would prefer not to get them, politely ask them not to send them anymore. I know it can be difficult to say that to a friend, but just phrase it that you get too many emails in general and don’t have time to read them.

-Change your notification preferences in your social media. Is it benefiting you to get an email every time someone mentions you in a comment on Facebook or likes your Instagram photo? Probably not. So shut those functions off or at least streamline them.

-Send less emails. If you send less emails, you will get less responses. Easy as that! If you evaluate each email you are sending, you might find there are some that are unnecessary.

-I really like having a separate email that I use for signing up for coupons, newsletters, etc. Then if life gets busy and I don’t have time to check it, no worries! I know there’s nothing vital in that inbox that can’t wait for me to catch up on everything else.

Now I realize I am running the risk of you deleting your Neaten Your Nest subscription from your email inbox. (Don’t do it!) If you want to streamline your blog subscription emails, you can follow most blogs on Facebook or Bloglovin as an alternative.

What are some other ways you clear out your digital clutter?

~Erin

An easy wall switch out – guest room mirror!

I have been working on re-doing our guest room for a while now and it’s slowly coming together. I wanted to share a quick switch out that makes a big difference.

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One wall had a picture hanging on it that my husband and I bought when we first got together.

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I actually still love the picture, but I’m thinking of making it a part of a larger picture collage somewhere.

I have been searching for a cute mirror for a long time and finally found one on sale at Michaels.

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I love all of the sunburst style mirrors out there right now. However, I don’t like how a lot of the actual mirrors are the size of a quarter and then they have a giant sunburst of metal or wood around a teensy tiny mirror. I really liked the one I found because it is a useable mirror and still has a great look. Here are a few great things about this switch out:

1) I was patient while I looked for the perfect mirror. I’ve literally been scouring the stores for months but I didn’t want to settle. I’m glad I waited and I even found it on sale!

2) We didn’t even have to make a new nail hole. We just hung it on the existing nail. I love time savers.

3) It brings some additional light and a feeling of a little more space into the smaller sized room.

4)It’s going to be the basis for my color palette for the rest of the wall decorations and frames I plan on eventually hanging. I just needed a little inspiration!

5) Recently my style has taken a slight turn towards the vintage and refurbished concept and I feel like this mirror fits that style well, even though it’s brand new.

I can’t wait to share more photos from this room!

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