Hi, Ya’ll from Magnolia Silos

I just want to give you a sneak peek of our trip to Waco last week where we spent two nights at Chip and Joanna’s second fixer upper rental property, Hillcrest Estate. I will say that this house is amazing (no surprise there) and anyone you talk to that knows the Gaines’ will tell you that they are genuinely, the same people you see on “Fixer Upper” week after week.The locals don’t mind sharing their personal and/or professional experiences with this down to earth, but oh so famous, family.The positive impact on Waco is evident everywhere you look. Because of their dedication and desire to bring the city of Waco back from a devastating tornado and failing economic state, they have enriched so many lives and changed the future for the good of generations to come.  

I will share lots more from our trip so please check back soon!

Simple and Sophisticated Halloween Table Decor

You can make decorative Halloween plates without a creative bone in your body!


Do you love those eery, farmhouse type Halloween plates you’ve been seeing around fancy shops like Pottery Barn? What if you could make four of your own in less than 30 minutes for practically nothing? That’d be awesome, right? It’s almost embarrassing how easy this project is, but since I’m all about giving you fast, little, awesome project ideas that you can squeeze in between the details of your busy life, here goes…

I really like the simple black and white plates for my kitchen, so I started looking around and saw them priced anywhere from $4.99 a plate at a local discount store, to $12.99 a plate at Pottery Barn. That’s not totally outrageous, but I wanted four and just couldn’t justify buying them when I already have Halloween decor galore! But, I still wanted them.

So, I did the only thing I could do, made them myself. You can certainly do the same and create your own totally awesome table for the Halloween season.

1. Gather up some white plates and wipe with alcohol to clean. I used the same ones that I have on my table all year long. After Halloween, I’ll just de-decorate them or re-decorate them for Thanksgiving! You can also find these for about $1 at thrift stores, Big Lots, or Dollar Tree.

2. I have a Cricut cutting machine, so I picked 4 simple Halloween silhouettes to cut out of scrap pieces of Oracal 631-651 black vinyl. If you don’t have a Cricut, you can just print out a few patterns, trace onto black paper & cut out with scissors or just buy some cutouts that will fit your plates at the Dollar Tree or Hobby Lobby. If you do the latter, just use some rubber cement and glue them on your plates. Remember that they are for decorative use only. I don’t think the paper will wash well. And, BOOM, you’re done! If you use vinyl, just a couple more steps to go, but you will be able to use and hand wash the plates if necessary.

3. Weed out the open areas of your pattern, ie. eyes in a skull. Take clear contact paper or transfer paper and place over your design, one at a time, and rub with a credit card until you can lift it off the backing.

4. Holding the clear contact paper with your design on it, hover over plate your design is where you want to place it. Lay it down and rub with credit card. Lift clear paper a little to see if it is sticking, if not, rub a little more, if so, BOOM you’re done too!

It doesn’t get much quicker or easier than this. Just think how impressed your friends will be when they see your totally, awesome, sophisticated Halloween plates and you get to tell them that you created them yourself! (You don’t really need to elaborate on how quick and easy it was, unless it’s a good friend that wants to make her own cool, eery plates)!


Create a Totally Spontaneous & Spooky Halloween Graphic on Glass


So, you’ve found my blog.  I’m really excited to have you, but just a warning  if you haven’t read “Let’s be Friends”, which is a little background on me, you might better head on over there before you start this project. I’m not about long, drawn out, perfect projects created in a wonderful workshop or delightful craft room, even though it would be cool if I had one! Most of my project details are not well thought out but more, “I have a few minutes and some black paint, so I think I’ll paint a spiderweb on a window pane.” Which is exactly what I started thinking about today on my way home from work. So, if you want some “haphazard” instructions on how to create your own impromptu Halloween glass painting, here we go…

1. Find a piece of glass. It can be out of a picture frame, an old window pane, or even a glass table cover. You can always scrape it off after Halloween like I did last year. Check out the picture at the end of the blog.

2. If it needs cleaning, clean it a little. I don’t do windows, so I didn’t scrape off the paint from the edges of my window pane and besides, that gives it some character. Stick with easy!


3. Find a graphic that you like online or freehand if you chose. However, you will need to draw the picture in reverse, so I would probably suggest you save your artistic ability for other projects. Size the graphic and flip or reverse the design to print. If you use a computer, copy pic into Paint and flip horizontally. If you’re using an iPad or tablet, export to Word and reverse. Many printers also have a “mirror image setting” you can select. Then Print.


4. Place your reversed printout under the glass, backside up. You will be drawing on the backside. Use a white marker to trace over the design. Easy, right?


5. When design is fully traced on the back of your glass, use black spray paint, cheapest that you can find, and spray the back of the glass right over the white that you just traced.

Make sure you have a fancy paint area, like me. Lol The good old ground works well and is very convenient.


6. Don’t peek until the black paint is fully dry.

Okay, now! VOILA!    

Amazing how sharp the white marker shows up in front of the black paint.  Now, isn’t your totally spontaneous & spooky Halloween project just adorable?

Here’s a pic of the round glass table top I did last year.


I’d love to see your projects. Please feel free to share in the comments below.

If you love this post,  please let me know and be sure to subscribe @ “Let’s be Friends” so I can share other totally crazy, easy projects with you!

Oh No! My ear is “OUT OF ORDER”

In August 2015, while vacationing with my family, the hearing in my right ear started sounding a little muffled, like it does sometimes after you have gone swimming. Maybe I had water trapped in there or some wax built up.  Whatever it was, I wanted to stop it from becoming an ear infection and possibly interrupting our vacation time, so I went to a local doctor. He examined it and proceeded to irrigate, hoping to loosen any wax. When this was unsuccessful and my ear was even more irritated, he gave me a mild antibiotic and told me to see my family doctor as soon as I returned home. We continued with our plans and headed out to the beach where we enjoyed a beautiful, sunny day. It wasn’t until we were leaving that the tide begin to turn, literally. As I was walking up the beach access stairs, my head started spinning and I melted like a snowman onto the steps. For the life of me, I could not get up. Vertigo had taken over my body. If you have dealt with this or have ever had an episode, I truly am sorry. It’s terrible. My husband and son carried me to the car.

I had severe Vertigo for four more days and stayed in bed, only getting up to go to the bathroom with assistance. Luckily, on the fifth day, I wasn’t quite as dizzy and using a walker to keep from running into the wall or falling down, was able to make the three hour ride home. The next day started the long process of getting to the root cause of the problem. Of course I had to start with my family doctor, who sent me to have a little hearing test like you have in elementary school, then he sent me to an Eyes, Ears, Nose and Throat specialist, who sent me for an MRI. When that came back clear, he sent me to the Otolaryngologist (never heard of that before). Immediately, he sent me to the Audiologist, in the same building and I had a very thorough series of hearing tests. When I walked out of the soundproof room, I asked the Audiologist  if my right ear was dead. She said, “We don’t tell the patient that, but that’s what we usually call it, and yes, at this time, it seems to be”.   My kids thought I should get a tattoo on my ear that said, “Out of Order” so people would know which ear they should talk too. Lol.

After the Otolaryngologist  studied the hearing results and examined me, he concluded that it must have been a virus that attacked my ear and more than likely, unless it came back in the next couple of months, I would have to learn how to adjust to 100% hearing loss in that ear. I was 53 years old, it was 2015, so I’m assuming that unless God has other plans, I’m going to be dealing with a dead ear the rest of my life. The Vertigo, hopefully, would not continue.

Now, to me, there are much worse things that could happen than losing my hearing in one ear. So, after being out of work four weeks, not driving, and being totally dependent on my family, thankfully, the Vertigo went away and I was ready to move on. Even though there are worse things, I wasn’t prepared for all of the issues that just losing your hearing in one ear can create.

One day when I was really frustrated, I sat down and compiled a list of things about my sudden hearing loss that I thought my friends and family may not realize or had never thought about. I would never have imagined some of the symptoms that a person could struggle with day to day with loss of hearing in one ear if I had not been experiencing it myself. These thoughts are from my struggles and may not apply to everyone, but I imagine at least some of them do.  So, here goes…

Loud noises are irritating (your good ear compensates a lot and takes all the noise)
Soft noises are irritating
Soft noises can sound like dynamite (it sounds crazy, but it’s true)
Conversations in a restaurant, are almost impossible
You learn to “nod and smile” a lot
You miss “witty” comments because you don’t want to ask people to repeat themselves all the time
You have to learn how to walk straight and not look down all the time
You have to hold onto rails and hang close to walls
Your sense of security is shaken
You feel very insecure about venturing out alone
Your self-confidence takes a blow
You worry about joining in a conversation because you aren’t sure you have heard all the details correctly
In noisy places where you have to speak loudly, your ear vibrates as you speak
When you talk, sometimes it sounds like you are under water to yourself
At times it seems very calm because you can’t hear background noise
When I breathe, it sounds like Darth Vader breathing inside
Even though you can’t hear external noises, it’s pretty noisy inside your head (ringing, high pitched tones, chiming sounds, roaring, like wind on
This is something I found on Amazon that really seems to help control the ringing and pressure in my ear

Now on a positive note, if the hubs is snoring, I can lay on my good ear and it’s very peaceful!  Lol

I wrote this list about a year ago and now and as I think back about it, some of these things have gotten a little better and at least tolerable, but about four months ago when my “good” ear filled with fluid and I could barely hear anything, I wasn’t very tolerant.  THAT WAS CRAZY SCARY!  My specialist sent me for another hearing test, drained the good ear and put in a tube right there in his office. I think he could see my panic! Almost immediately, I could feel the pressure decreasing and over a few weeks, it was back to normal. But, let me tell you, that other “good” ear becomes so important when you only have one left!

Like most things we’ve never experienced and conditions that are not visible to the eye, we can’t be expected to totally understand what a person may be dealing with. In saying all of this, my hope is that if you are in a similar situation, you realize that you are not alone and to everyone else, that I may have enlightened your awareness, patience and kindness towards other people, because really, we all have struggles and we are all just doing the best we can to move on to So Many Somedays that are much more fun!