Wednesday, August 31, 2022

How to make Scarecrow and Crow Pumpkins (using Dollar Tree items)

One of my favorite fall crafts that I have made is my Scarecrow and Crow Pumpkins.  I have been making different pumpkins over the years, and have so many now, I call them my Pumpkin Gang.  You can see many of the pumpkins in Pumpkin Gang here.

* This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

To start my pumpkins, I painted one of them tan, and one of them black.  Dollar Tree has pumpkins in three colors now, orange,   white, and black.   If you do not want to paint one of the pumpkins, buy one that is already black.   I have linked them to if you can not find them in stores.  You can currently buy the pumpkins in small quantities.  

Of the two pumpkins, the crow is the easiest to make.  You will just need some google eyes, black and orange craft foam, and some black feathers, all of which you can find at Dollar Tree.

I used the largest google eyes in the package on both the crow in the scarecrow.  I then painted the triangle nose, and the cheeks.  I watered down the red paint a bit so it would seem a bit muted. I used a sharpie to make the smile.  

I made the hat out of some burlap I had on hand, but the Dollar Tree has some of the cutest autumn, and Halloween fabrics.  I especially love their sunflower fabric.  I cut two half circles out of the fabric, after making sure they were wide enough to cover the top of the pumpkin. I did a quick whip stitch around the curves to hold the pieces together. 

To make the hat fit a little better, I rolled the edges up a couple of times.  

I found it was easier to add the straw/raffia after that hat was on the scarecrow. I stuffed it under the hat, and glued where it was needed.  

The final touch was to add a Dollar Tree sunflower!  

These two are so easy to make, and a perfect addition to your fall decor. 
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Saturday, August 27, 2022

Dare to Share #534

It's Friday night, and you know what that means..
It is time to Dare to Share! 

Sorry, I am a little late with the party tonight.  I am visiting a friends house for the night. We just got home from the dance we like to go to on Friday nights.  This weekend my son is moving to his college apartment so we are going to be busy spending time doing that too.

This week I finally posted about Our Visit to Red Oak, a small community in Missouri that feels like you are back in time.  It was a really cool place where you should try to visit, if you are ever in the area.  


Did you know that Dollar Tree has already started adding their Christmas items online such as their limited edition Winter Wonderland Fairy Garden Set? (that includes mini gnomes!)  I bought the Halloween Fairy Garden Set online last year and love it. You see more of their Christmas items at

Well it is time to get this party started. Link Up and HAVE FUN! 

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Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Our visit to Red Oak, a step back in time

Earlier this month we visited family in southern Missouri. One day we were wondering what to do, when we saw a small article about Red Oak II. It sounded really interesting as a place we might like to visit. Seeing that it was not that far away, and open until 9 p.m., we decided to go check it out. 

We pull up to this tiny community in the middle of the country near Carthage, Missouri. It was very warm the week we were visiting, so there were not many people there.  We parked our car, and it immediately felt like we went back in time.  

After our visit, I did some more research about Red Oaks and what we saw. Now that I know the full story, I definitely want to go back, and see some more.   There was just so much to see. 

The artist Lowell Davis was born nearby in the original Red Oak, Missouri, near Rte 66 in 1937.  He was famous for his paintings, sculptures and metal work.   After high school he joined the military and left Missouri for awhile, but never forgot his fond memories of his childhood and tiny home town.  After being medically discharged after a plane accident, he decided to go home to Missouri.  Since there was not much left of the original Red Oak, he had an idea to start a new community called Red Oak II with rescued abandoned buildings that he relocated to Carthage, Missouri. One of the first buildings in the new location was the General Store.  He grew up living in the back of the store.  

This was the sign to the Red Oak Cafe. It was no longer open. I found doing my research that it was once a very popular eatery. I can understand why, it was such a cute, quaint building. 

This sculpture was one of the first things we saw when we got out of the car.  It is just one of the many pieces of artwork Lowell has in the community. 

There are about a dozen families living in Red Oak II in historically homes, and surrounded by artwork. We were allowed to wander freely around the grounds, and most of the buildings.  The homes where people lived there are signs posted that it is a private residence. 

Yes, that really is a old time plane just sitting in the driveway.  My boyfriend worked on planes in the Air Force, so he was quite interested in this. We were allowed to go up to it to get a closer look.  

Do you see the chicken in the road? It is actually a funny story.  This hen and her sister escaped their enclosure from across the street, and decided to go visit the Marshall's Office.  The woman who owned them drove up just as they came up to greet us. She is one of the permanent residents in the community. She shared a lot of fun facts about the history of the area, and told us she found her home on sale on the internet a few years ago. We were very glad we ran into her.  She told us that her hens were probably excited to see us, because they love people and were probably hoping for a treat. 

There is fascinating thing I found out after we visited.  One of the homes in the community is called the Belle Star House, because she once lived in the home.  You might not have heard of Belle Star, but her story is very interesting. She was born Myra Belle Shirley.  She had a well to do upbringing, and spent some of her years as a teacher.  When the Kansas - Missouri border war broke out everything changed.  Her brother was killed in that war. She became involved with an outlaw, was friendly with Jessie and Frank James (yes, that Jesse James) and started a life of crime. She went on to become known as one of the most famous woman outlaws of that time, with a string of husbands, lovers and crimes.  Her story would make for a great movie, if there isn't one already.  

This building was called the Iron Pony.  I'm not sure what this building was for, but we liked the sculptures around it. 

I believe this house was called the Mother In Law's house. We were allowed to go in it, but it was so hot that evening, that it was just too warm inside to look around. It reminded me of the Old Lady in a Shoe house from poem. 

There is a small church in the community.  Lowell brought it there, so he would have a place close by to attend church.  Lowell Davis died in November of 2020. There was a little graveyard close the house of the women we met. She told me that the grave stones in the cematary did not actually have graves. There was only person buried there, and it was Lowell Davis himself. This cat had been following us for a bit, and decided to rest on his gravesite. 

This barn and my favorite type of farm truck was across the street.  It looked so beautiful and peaceful, I just had to take a pic.  

If you ae ever in southern Missouri near Joplin, you will definitely want to stop by and check out Red Oaks II. 

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Friday, August 19, 2022

Dare to Share #533

It's Friday night, and you know what that means. 
It is time to Dare to Share! 

Sorry I did not have a chance to write a blog post this week.  I do have a good excuse though.  

This girl may be smiling in this picture, but she actually gave us a bit of a scare this week.  Last weekend, Cookie had a sore on her back. By Monday morning, the sore was very large and looked horrible. We scheduled her a vet appointment and they saw her that afternoon. The vet looked her over, and said that it was bad enough that we needed to do surgery to close it.  Tuesday afternoon we dropped her off, and a few hours later we picked up our groggy doggie.  We have had to keep a close eye on her this week to make sure she didn't rip open her staples or rough house with our other dog. 

I took this picture today while at the vet for her recheck. She is doing a lot better, has her energy back, but has to wear her cone for 10 more days. We will go back then to have her staples removed. 

Another thing that has occupied my time this week, is I spent a couple of afternoons with my bonus daughter.  She asked if we could go to a couple of Goodwills in the area.  I am so glad that I did.  Did you know that you can find brand new Halloween items at Goodwill?  I will be posting about  our thrift store adventure this upcoming week. (and I promise our vacation post will be posted too!) 

In what little spare time that I had this week, I have been working and listing several new Halloween listings in my Etsy Shop like this You've Been Booed Candy Bucket Bundle. I would love it if you stopped by and checked them out.  

Also if you tried to get this online exclusive Halloween Gnomes from my post Dollar Tree Plus Items Now Online and they were sold out, they have more in and then are currently available. 

Well it looks like it is time to get this party started. Link Up and HAVE FUN!! 


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Friday, August 12, 2022

Dare to Share #532

It's Friday night, and you know what that means..
It is time to Dare to Share! 

And Poof! It's already mid August.  Does anyone else feel like they did not have a summer this year? I do realize why my summer may seem on the short side.  My school where I worked did not get out until mid June.  Then my move to Ohio took up a big part of the summer.  We were able to go on vacation last week, but did not spend a lot of time outside because of a heatwave. It was close to 100 degrees every single day.  It just feels like all of a sudden we are going back to school.  Today was the first day of my bonus son's Senior year of high school.  He is going back three weeks earlier than I would be if was still in Michigan teaching.  It has not hit me yet, that I am not teaching this upcoming school year, but we will see what happens in a couple of weeks.  

Do you feel like this summer seemed super short too?  Let  me know i the comments. 

As I mentioned above, we were able enjoy a fun vacation visiting my mom, and then spend a few days in Branson, Mo.  This week I was able to post my review of the Hollywood Wax Museum Entertainment Center.  We really enjoyed all the different activities in the center, which you can read more about in the post.   I have more posts that I will be sharing about this upcoming weeks about Red Oaks 2 (an interesting tiny town started by the artist Lowell Davis) and our visit to the Butterfly Palace. 

** This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links

I posted yesterday about some exciting news I just found out.. The Dollar Tree has updated their website and is now selling Dollar Tree Plus Items Online! (<-- read more about it here)  This makes me so happy because I do not have a Dollar Tree Plus in Ohio or in Michigan, and they have some pretty cool items for only $3 and $5.  Another secret I can share with you, if you love gnomes and having a hard time finding them in store, they are selling them online. They even have exclusive online only gnomes for Halloween. EEEKKK!  Many of their best selling items can be bought in small quantities and shipped to your store for FREE, so you will definitely want to check out that post. 

I also just learned something else interesting this week.  Have you heard of  Audible?  I just heard about it recently.  I do know about audiobooks, because when I was teaching there were several kids who needed to listen to books, because they struggled with reading.  Well on Audible, there are thousands of books and podcasts available to listen to in all genres.  While there is a monthly membership cost, they do give a 30 Day Free Trial to test it out.  If you ever need to gift idea for someone who loves books, they also have gift memberships of 3, 6 and 12 months.  This may be a good time to look into this with school starting back up and being time to get back to the books! 

Well it is getting to be that time.. Time to get this party started! 
Link up and HAVE FUN!! 

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Thursday, August 11, 2022

Dollar Tree Plus Now Online

I have just recently heard very exciting news!

As you know I LOVE the Dollar Tree. It is my favorite store and I go there often for so many things. In the last couple of years many of the Dollar Trees around the country have turned into Dollar Tree Plus stores, with so many cool decor and household items for $3 and $5.  Unfortunately, where I live in the Midwest, we do not have a Dollar Tree Plus anywhere near me.  

** This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

But now the big news... has updated their website.  It is now super easy to use and they added a lot more items. What I am most excited about, is many Dollar Tree Plus items are NOW AVAILABLE TO EVERYONE ONLINE!  An added bonus, you are able to buy many of the items in small quantities! 

This is a game changer for Dollar Tree Shopping!

Check out some of these amazing gems.. 

These large gnomes are Dollar Tree Plus items, and available online for $3 each.  You will need to purchase a case of 12, but if you know a friend who also love gnomes go in together and split the cost.  They also have smaller Halloween Gnome exclusive to ONLINE ONLY for only $1.25, and some cute fall themed gnomes also for $1.25 

Click the link below to see all the gnomes

I am loving these large Halloween themed leaner signs.  They are $5 each, and come in a case of 12.  Just like the gnomes you can find a few friends and split the order to make them even more affordable.  You can see these and more leaner signs with the link below. 

If you love to craft, these long Crafters Square wooden bead strands are an amazing deal at a $1.25 each.  I still have not found them in my stores, and I am there frequently.  These are a smaller quantity items with a minimum of 6 strands.  That would make 24 feet of beads for only $7.50!

Crafters Square DIY 4 ft Wooden Bead Strand

These are so adorable at $5 each. I would love to have one of these. 

These harvest village decor are also new Dollar Tree Plus items at $3 each.  They come in a case of 12. 

The sunflower plates are still available online for $1.25 in smaller quantities of only 4 

These are just a handful of all the amazing goodies I found online.   I have bought from their website several times.  While you can have it shipped to your home, you can also ship many items to your Local Store for FREE!

Which items are you most excited about? 

 Happy Shopping! 

If you would like to read more about the Sunflower Dishes you can find it here on my post Sunflower Dishes - An Amazing Party Find.

Other Dollar Tree posts you might find of interest 

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Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Our Visit to the Hollywood Wax Museum Entertainment Center

Disclosure: My family received complimentary tickets to visit the Hollywood Wax Museum Entertainment Center, but everything in this review is 100% my own opinion. 

If you have seen any of my blog posts, Instagram, or Facebook in the last couple of weeks, you may know that we just went to visit family, and then spend a few days in Branson Missouri.  

One Branson location that we were the most excited to visit is the Hollywood Wax Museum Entertainment Center.  It has four different attractions for one great price with the All Access Pass. You can pay to see each attraction individually too, but if you are visiting more than one, the pass is a much better deal.  The biggest and probably most popular attraction is the wax museum. 

We decided to go to see the museum right away, and we were not disappointed.  When you walk into the museum the first thing you notice is a large ape breaking through a wall where you will have the first of many photo ops.  They take your picture with your entire group, which you will have the opportunity to purchase at the end of the tour. As soon as you enter the museum you are greeted with wax figures. You are allowed to get up and personal with the figures, and take as many pictures are you would like.  There are even photo props you can use in several locations.  There was only one rule though, do not touch the figures.  We had a lot of fun posing with the celebrities, and taking pictures.  I was surprised with how tall so many of the celebrities are in real life.  Of course, most people seem tall to me being barely over 5 feet.  :)  I know the figures were true to size.  I was face to face with Prince, and Kevin Hart who are close to my height.  John Cena, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pratt and Ryan Reynolds though all towered over me.   We will definitely have some fun memories of our time touring the museum.  

Our next stop was at the end of the center where the Castle of Chaos and Hannah's Maze of Mirrors was located.  We decided to go into the Maze of Mirrors first.  As soon as we entered we were greeted with the story of Princess Hannah and why she needed to be saved in the maze by the King and Queen. 

The maze was so pretty, and it was not easy finding our way through at first.  Once we got our bearings though, we were able to save Hannah.   It was then time to go to the Castle of Chaos.  We were with older kids, and they are both gamers so they were very excited to try out the 5D adventure interactive shooting games.  We had to choose which adventure we wanted to try, in both games our mission would be saving the world.  We were seated in a room in gaming chairs with seatbelts. Each person had a special laser shooter that we aimed at the screen while the chairs moved. Shooting at the screen while moving was a blast, and fun for all ages.  We all really enjoyed the gaming experience

It was very hot the week we were in Branson.  It was 100 degrees out when we finished the other three activities.  It was just too hot to play the Shoot for the Stars putt putt game in the midday heat.  Since we found out that the entire Entertainment Center was open late, we decided to go back and play at night.  We are so glad we did. We really enjoyed playing on this course. Over the 18 holes we were treated like stars, and even walked the red carpet at the Oscars.  At the end of the game you found out if you were overexposed, trendy, famous or legendary.  I especially liked this hole, because I was the only one in our group who was legendary! 

We really enjoyed our time at the Hollywood Wax Museum Entertainment Center and highly recommend visiting it if you are ever in Branson.  You can find out even more information at


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Saturday, August 6, 2022

Dare to Share #531

It's Friday night, and you know what that means.. 

It is time to Dare to Share! 

Well as I mentioned last week, we are currently on vacation.  We have spent a few days at my moms and have done some fun things.  

Early in the week we had chance to go to a fun roadside stop in Missouri call Uranus Fudge Factory. While it does have a fudge factory with amazing fudge, it also has some other fun attractions like the largest belt buckle, a small side show museum, a resident cat mascot, and novelty gift shop.  We spent about an hour there, and all of us enjoyed it. 

Another place we stopped near Springfield is Lamberts Cafe in Ozark, Missouri.  It is known for their tossed rolls. When I say tossed rolls, I really do mean they throw hot bread at you, and you try to catch it.  I was sitting close to where the bread thrower was standing,  so I did catch my roll.   

Lamberts was another stop that the entire family enjoyed.  Our server Cassie was awesome, and the atmosphere was lively. The meals and drinks were good, and also massive.  We will definitely stop there again the next time we visit.

On our first full day at my mom's house, my brother and his kids came to visit.  One of the teen girls asked if we could go visit the local cat cafe. Everyone wanted to go, so off we went.  This was also a fun experience.  There is a cafe where you can enjoy drinks, before you go into the cat room to play and mingle with all the cats and kittens. They were all so sweet, and enjoyed the attention.  The cat in the tie is Mr. Boots. He is one of the resident cats, and the one in charge.  

On Wednesday we visited Red Oaks 2.  If you have ever heard of the artist Lowell Davis, it is a small old fashioned village that he created by moving and restoring structures that were no longer being used.  It is now a tourist attraction, and neighborhood for a handful of people.  

It was part memories of the past, part art museum, and part farm.   Even though there were some private residences in Red Oaks 2, you were encouraged to walk around and explore many of the old buildings, take photos, and admire Lowell Davis's art.  We met one of the locals whose chickens had escaped their enclosure.  She came over to greet us.  She was very nice, and told us about how much she loved living there. She gave us a little bit of background of the area, and encouraged us to check out all the little special things hidden on the property.  This is another place that we would like to visit again, especially after reading more about it online once we got home.   

As you are reading this, we just got done spending a fun day at Branson.  A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post that we would be visiting the Hollywood Wax Museum Entertainment Center .  Well we had the chance to visit today, and I will be sharing more about my vacation week in Missouri in a couple of new posts early in the week! 

Since it is late, and I am exhausted from our day, I getter get this party started. Link up and HAVE FUN!! 



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