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The History of the No Ugly Ornament Series

My Very Educated Mother
I’m sure you’ve heard the story but here it is again, this is the last time…promise.  Don’t worry it’s not that long.

Me: Hey guys!

Kids (Vin and Es): Yeah…

Me: (enthusiastically) I think we should make handmade ornaments for the tree again this year.

Teagan: (screams from  the basement/tv room) NO!  I have had enough with these crappy trees.  We use to have pretty trees!  No, I not putting up with this anymore!!  I’m telling Nate! 

Me: (pouting a little ‘cause his squeaky almost a man voice was coming out and it’s so darn hard to take it seriously) Sweetie, you never decorated the tree and neither did Nate ‘cause I wouldn’t let you.

Teagan:  And?

Me: We’ll make pretty ornaments this time, I swear.  ( Mom and kids begin giggling in remembrance of the craft foam and old cd turned ornament debacle.)

For the record he DID talk to my husband and his step-father, Nate, that night who sheepishly agreed he preferred my ‘perfect’ trees.  Still I pressed on and dragged all my poor blog readers along with me by creating the No Ugly Ornament Challenge 2011.

I’ve already announced that things are going to be different this year, so I wanted to share with you the #1 ornament from last year…with a better picture. 

Like any woman, I’m a sucker for a cute dress and the Origami Dress Ornament was hands down the favorite of both the readers and myself!

Next Thursday this series will officially ‘kick’ off, be sure to stop by or follow via Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest!
Erin Sipes
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A Little Halloween Trickery

Do you go all out for Halloween?  Turn your yard into the neighborhood haunted house?  Done DIY costumes-usually themed and involving every member of your family? Hand out full size chocolate bars, or dare I say it…popcorn balls?

Yeah, me neither. 

Until my family magically turns into that family I’ve been checking what all you creative folks have been coming up with and I absolutely love all the clever little tricks you’ve been sharing!  Here are a few of my favorites! (Remember if you repin them be sure to visit the original source!)


Source: via Erin on Pinterest

Here’s the last one…it’s only a small picture so you’ll have to visit her site and see what she does with it…SUPER AWESOME idea that’s quick and easy enough to pull together just minutes before the trick-or-treaters hit your house!


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Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest!

Erin Sipes
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No Ugly Ornament Preview: Paper Ballerinas

Last November I ventured into unfamiliar crafting waters when I challenged myself to make a Christmas ornament every day of the month.  Thankfully I had only one prerequisite, set out by my oldest son, it couldn’t be ugly.  Now, I can’t lie, where there are winners there are losers.  Not every ornament made it onto our tree but it was still fun and brought our family together creatively.  While I looked forward to doing it all over again this year I also knew I wanted to shake things up, so…

This year, I’m so excited to announce that craft and DIY bloggers from around the blogosphere will be visiting and sharing their favorite ornament tutorials everyday for the entire month of November, and don’t worry they know the rules…it can’t be ugly!

I know November is still two weeks away but I had to kick things off right so today I’m sharing my newest ornament, a Paper Ballerina!  Follow the read more- link below to find out how to make your own!

@mvemother No Ugly Ornament Series

Erin Sipes
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Quick and Easy Cranberry Cake

@mvemother Quick and Seriously Easy Cranberry Cake

Did you grow up with canned cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving?  I didn’t, and I think that’s why I’m so fascinated by the stuff.  Mind you I have NO intention of ever eating it straight from the can, nor would I ever eat it with turkey, ew.  I have however been experimenting with a couple of cans. 

My first recipe was a cranberry scone.  Unfortunately I was so busy playing with the gelatinous goo I forgot to add the baking soda and powder.  It was ugly and in a turn of events that has me questioning the quality of my cooking, my family still ate it.  Let me clarify, as I was getting ready to throw it all out they said, “No, we like them!”  Really?

The next time I went simple, like really simple…here it is…I took a boxed cake mix, replaced the water with a can of cranberry sauce and then followed the instructions as I normally would. 

@mvemother Cranberry Cake 2
It was awesome, especially with homemade ice cream.

@mvemother Quick and Easy Cranberry Cake

Hmmm, I wonder what other kinds of things I’m going to be able to make with this tangy, can shaped delicacy?

Don’t forget to follow My Very Educated Mother on
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Sharing:  Skip to my Lou   DIY Home Sweet Home    The Girl Creative    Keeping It Simple    Mad in Crafts   Lines Across My Face    Everything Under the Moon    CraftOManiac    Anything Goes  Polly Want a Crafter     So Creative   I Should Be Mopping The Floor     Mommy By Day Crafter By Night    Tip Junkie    Not Just a Housewife   Crafty Confessions     My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia    Homestories A to Z        TypeADecorating    The Sasse Life    Someday Crafts     Blue Cricket Design   Trendy Treehouse  Passionately Artistic    Lil’ Luna    Sew Much Ado     The Shabby Creek Cottage    House of Hepworth    Momnivore’s Dilemma    Katie’s Nesting Spot    Somewhat Simple    Fireflies and Jellybeans     Joyful Stamper    Stuff and Nonsense     See Vanessa Craft   The Romantic Home    Whipper Berry    504 Main   The Shabby Nest    At the Picket Fence    Toys in the Dryer    Simply Sweet Home     Sun Scholars    Tatertots & jello     Be different Act Normal     Serenity Now                     
Erin Sipes
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Printable: Age Appropriate Chore Charts

@mvemother Age Appropriate Chore Chart (free printable)
I have a seven year old who doesn’t comb his own hair…there I said it.  Judge me, go ahead…I’ll wait while you shame me with your disapproving stares.  It’s okay, I know that this is completely MY fault.  I let my kids be lazy but who out there isn’t guilty of it now and then?  Sometimes I don’t want to teach a lesson I just want the laundry to be put away before 9 p.m.  We never buy shoes with strings anymore so what does it matter my son can’t tie a knot?  And that last admission is why one of our homeschooling goals for the year is teaching personal responsibility and care.

I love making charts, checklists, calendars, etc., I’m just one of those kinda gals.  Pinterest hasn’t helped me with this little addiction either; there are so many ideas out there I get giddy at the possibilities! But if you want a chore chart to be effective you’ve got to be able to set parameters and expectations.  About a year ago I found a list, let’s just call it the holy grail from here on out.  It’s perfect. It’s broken down into the following categories: Personal Care, Clothing Care, Household Skills, Cooking Skills, Financial Skills, Lawn & Garden Care, Navigation & Auto Skills, and Other Skills.  AND, it lists the age to begin and the age you can expect a child to master a specific task.
@mvemother free printable age appropriate chore chart
Erin Sipes
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Fold Top Snack Bags

This August marked the beginning of our second year of homeschooling.  Last year we spent a lot of time sitting at the dining room table trying to find our groove, this year we’ve been spending that time in the mini-van taxiing around to our various activities.  While we’re out of the house I don’t like to eat out too much so we’ve been brown bagging it whenever we can. 

These fold-top snack bags have been wonderful!  On top of being eco-friendly and handy for snacks, they also make great bags to hold ice packs. Vin has learned to ride a bike, need I say more? I actually shared these about a year ago over on Mommy by Day, Crafter by Night and I thought it was high time I shared them here too! 

@mvemother Fold Top Snack Bags
Erin Sipes
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Welcome Pinterest Scavenger Hunters

I know what you're thinking, "Erin, you just told us about this on Monday!"  Yes, but see, today is MY special day during the hunt and I wanted to be sure to say “Hello” to any new visitors and “Thank You a Million Times Over!” to my regulars!  I’ll try not to keep you long, so, as quickly as I can…

Erin Sipes
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Glow In the Dark Dia De Los Muertos Skulls

@mvemother Glow in the Dark Day of the Dead Skulls

Last week I shared a teaser for my Glow in the Dark Map using Puffy Paint Glow I mentioned then that colorful Day of the Dead skulls would be another fun project using this product.  Contrary to what my meouffy Paint isn’t just for fabric crafts.  These Dia de los Muertos skulls are a quick and easy craft and a must-have for any hallowed holiday mantel! 

@mvemother Day of the Dead SkullsSupplies

  • Skulls: I nabbed a couple at the local resale show, but I’m quite certain you can also find them at the Dollar Store.
  • Spray Paint: I went with a white base but you can chose any color.
  • Puffy Paint Glow: I recommend the multi-pak so that you have lots of color options.


I always feel silly writing directions when I’m sure you can look at the skulls and figure out what I did.  Oh, well, here goes.

Spray paint your skulls.

@mvemother Glow in the Dark Day of the Dead Skulls2

Get creative with the Puffy Paint, using dots, lines, swirls, etc.

@mvemother Glow in the Dark Day of the Dead Skulls3

Personally I like to keep the designs symmetrical. 

@mvemother Glow in the Dark Day of the Dead Skulls4

Work a little bit at a time and don’t be surprised if you get to a point where you have to let it dry before you can finish.  Once you’ve got all your design work done let them dry for up to 4-5 hours.  I made mine in the evening so that they could dry overnight.

@mvemother Glow in the Dark Day of the Dead Skulls5@mvemother Glow in the Dark Day of the Dead Skulls6@mvemother Glow in the Dark Day of the Dead Skulls7@mvemother Glow in the Dark Dia de los Muertos Skulls@mvemother glow-in-the-dark Dia de los Muertos Skulls

Sharing: Skip to my Lou  I Should Be Mopping The Floor Tip Junkie Homestories A to Z Blue Cricket Design  The Shabby Creek Cottage Momnivore’s Dilemma Stuff and Nonsense The Romantic Home 504 Main Tatertots & jello Be different Act Normal Serenity Now

If you like what you see, please take a moment and follow

My Very Educated Mother on Facebook!

Erin Sipes
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Looking for Something to Pin?

Welcome to the Fall Pinterest Scavenger Hunt and Giveaway!
Pin to Win one of five prize packages 
with a total value over $275!

Hosted by ArahBellas, All Done Monkey, and Just a Little Creativity

Here's how to Play-
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  • To be eligible to win, you must pin a photo from each clue provided
  • There are also many additional ways to earn extra entries, so be sure to give them a try!

You Could Win One of These Five Prizes-

One Grand Prize- 
$40 Target Gift Card courtesy of MyArtsyBaby
Artistry Essentials hydrating skincare system or an 
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One Week 1 Sponsor Prize Package-
$20 Gift Certificate to Cherished Bliss 

One Week 2 Sponsor Prize Package-
Coilbound Documenting Book from Paper Coterie (Up to $32 value)

One Week 3 Sponsor Prize Package-
Blog Header Redesign from Simply Klassic Blog Design 
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Partridge and Pear Stained Glass Kit from Suzy's Sitcom Store
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This blog is not responsible for prize redemption, and was not compensated for participating in this sweepstakes.
Erin Sipes
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