Easy DIY Wrapped Ball Ornament

I’m not one for flashy Christmas decor. It’s a little ironic because when the giant inflatable snow globes and Santas start to pop up all over the neighborhood, I love it!   As Christmas nears, I love driving around with Dave while listening to Christmas music and trying to find the houses with the most outrageous lights and props displays.  All of this ends the minute I enter my own house.  The craziest Christmas decorating I do is probably putting up a tree with colored twinkle lights.  Out of control, right?  Well that’s why I’ve decided to put a little more effort into my decorating this year.  I wanted decorations that were totally Christmas-worthy but could also be used year-round.

These ball ornaments are incredibly cheap and easy to make.  All you need are some styrofoam balls, an old catalog (or newspaper, or fabric), a hot glue gun and some string.  In the tutorial below, I’ll walk you through how I made one out of the pages of a catalog!

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Farm Wanderings at Heritage Prairie

Last week, I shared over at FOLK Magazine & Blog about my recent wanderings at Heritage Prairie Farm. I thought I’d share a few more pictures from my visit. They have so much great stuff I just couldn’t squeeze it all in one blog post!

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Favorite Fall Footwear

As the seasons and styles change, so do the shoes.  It’s hard to send my colorful wedge sandals and leather flip flops to the back of the closet for 8 whole months, but the sad farewell is brief because I just may (and please don’t tell my sandals this) love boots and loafers a little bit more.

My favorites list this year is very boot-heavy.  I can’t help it.  I feel like I need them in every shaft height, color and heel height.  Unfortunately, the price tags on genuine leather boots don’t allow me to fully indulge, but I’m lucky to have cultivated this little collection so I’m a happy camper!

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Fudge

When I made the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles last week, my taste-testers (i.e. family and friends) ate them up in no time. I took that as a good sign, so I’m at it again with the no-bake no-egg cookie dough creations. This time in the form of fudge!

Just like the truffles, this recipe comes from The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook, by Lindsay Landis. I originally borrowed this cookbook from a friend, but after making two delicious and indulgent treats I think I may be ordering it for myself. I hope my taste-testers are OK with trying out a few more cookie dough recipes!

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Farm-Inspired Butternut Squash Salad

We’re hanging out today over at FOLK Magazine & Blog! Head over there to read about my recent farm wanderings that inspired a delicious recipe for Butternut Squash Salad!

And be sure to check out an amazing deal that FOLK Magazine has running! It’s only $11 for a whole year subscription if you purchase by Black Friday!

See you over at FOLK!

Mulled Apple Cider

My husband and I just finished “winterizing” our yard – raking leaves, planting tulips (don’t forget to do this before the ground freezes!) and putting away deck furniture. I was rather thankful when the clouds started rolling in and I felt the first bits of rain, because we were forced to call it quits for the rest of the afternoon. No complaining here!

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

My husband, Colson, is definitely the sweet tooth in our house. Don’t get me wrong, I love dessert. But I can go without it. It’s not that I have some uncanny sense of self-control – I’d just rather have a plate of nachos or a second piece of lasagna instead. Much to Colson’s frustration, when his dessert craving hits our sugar inventory is nearly nonexistent.

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REALLY exciting news! Offbeat & Inspired joins FOLK!!

REALLY exciting news!  Offbeat & Inspired joins FOLK!!

Well I’ve been a little busy this past week with something pretty major!! I’m SOOO excited to announce that Sarah and I have been working with Ben Ashby (editor in chief of FOLK Magazine) and some amazing bloggers over at the magazine’s new blog, FolkLifestyle.com!  A few weeks ago I was talking to Ben after he heard about our blog and I ended up writing a last minute article for FOLK’s Christmas issue which hits stores (and mailboxes) this week!  After that amazing event (pinch me, cause I wonder if it actually happened), we were introduced to some absolutely wonderful bloggers who were also asked to contribute to FOLK’s new blog, and we felt right at home joining the team!

We will be posting a few times a month over at the FOLK blog, and we HIGHLY recommend checking it out and subscribing.  The magazine and the blog are both phenomenal, and right up the alley of everything we love here at Offbeat & Inspired.  We’ll be contributing articles to the magazine too, and if you haven’t heard of FOLK yet, here’s a little note from Ben:

You may be asking what exactly FOLK is all about. Simply put it is about ALL AMERICAN LIVING. The driving force behind FOLK is to immerse the reader in a life that journeys at a slower pace, one that involves drinking iced tea on the front porch, having conversations with friends, reliving the olden days, hunting for the perfect antique and vintage items, eating at local diners, perfecting family recipes, picking tomatoes off the vine, summers spent in a swing under an old oak tree, buying locally made products, driving with windows down and Miranda Lambert blasting, creating unique collections of your own, finding the country life in any setting, and one that remembers the little things that make life worth living.

There you have it!  FOLK will be choc full of everything you need to get inspired and stay inspired.  Sign us up!!  If you’re half as psyched about this as we are, head over to the blog’s kick-off post and leave a comment to be automatically entered to win an autographed copy of the magazine!

Keep reading for an amazing discount on an entire year’s subscription to FOLK Magazine!

Our Open “Haus” Menu

I recently shared a few creative and simple entertaining ideas inspired by my brother and sister-in-law at their open house for FreshGround Roasting. As that event was being planned I thought, “Why not make this a weekend event and host an open house at our place the next day?”

OK, I’ll admit it was quite busy cooking, cleaning and setting up for two consecutive open houses. But it was totally worth it! We had a great time on Saturday with FreshGround. Then on Sunday, my husband and I invited friends, family and neighbors to our open “Haus” (our play on words since our last name is Hauser).

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Knife Block Redo

I haven’t had much time lately to tackle the big DIY projects at my house. I have furniture, pallets, burlap, paint and all kinds of other goodies in our garage just waiting to become some wonderful DIY creation. I keep reminding my hubby that I DO have a plan for that pallet and those scraps of wood – and that huge old junky looking window I convinced him I needed.

I’ve finally accepted the fact that I just don’t have time for those big projects right now. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still keeping all those amazing supplies. I just have to be more realistic with my DIY projects at the moment. So this week, instead of stressing about finishing of my big furniture projects, I decided to check some smaller, more realistic projects off the list.

After initially seeing this idea on Pinterest and a host of other blogs, I decided to redo my knife block. It’s one of those boring wood knife blocks that wasn’t really much to look at. I wanted that functional block to become a fun pop of color my kitchen desperately needed.

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