Our Wolf Den

Honey, I Have an Idea!


Pumpkin Wreath

Pumpkin Wreath Square

I love this pumpkin wreath.  It is super easy to make and add a pop of fall that is perfect to have on the wall from October until Thanksgiving.

Cut three equal sections of ribbon to tie onto a grapevine wreath.  I used a transparent orange, transparent black, and a fall patterned orange ribbon.  Wrap it around the wreath and tie into a bow.



I found the plastic pumpkins several years ago at Wal-Mart.


The next step is to glue them onto the wreath.  When I originally made this wreath two years ago I attached the pumpkins with hot glue.  I kept having problems with the pumpkins falling off.  So I ripped them all off and re-glued them with 527 (which you can buy in the craft section).

Let the glue dry and then you can hang the wreath up.  For the pictures I hung it on the door outside, but I normally keep it inside, so I can enjoy looking at while relaxing on the sofa watching TV.



I linked up here.


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Honey/Hemp Snickerdoodle and Buttercream Loofa Soap

Honey & Hemp Snickerdoodle and Buttercream Loofa Soap

This easy melt and pour soap is a wonderful exfoliant that smells like a sweet treat.  The loofa makes it a little too rough on the skin (for me at least, the Wolfy man loves it all over), but it feels great on those rough heels that have been abused from the summer flip flop weather.   Plus with the texture the loofa adds it makes a very cute display sitting in the bathroom.

Supplies (all purchased from Brambleberry):

1 pound melt and pour Honey soap base

1 pound melt and pour Hemp soap base

1 loofa

2 teaspoons sweet almond oil

1/2 teaspoon red Brazilian clay (more or less depending on the color you want)

1 ounce Buttercream and Snickerdoodle Fragrance Oil (more or less depending on how strong you want the scent to be)


Rubbing Alcohol


The first step is to cut the loofa into 4 equal sections.  In the picture below I ended up cutting up two loofas.


Once the loofa is cut it needs to be soaked in hot water to rehydrate (it won’t take long!).


While the loofa is rehydrating, cut the soap bases into 1 inch cubes and put into the microwave on 30 second bursts until melted.


While the soap is melting, turn your attention back to the loofa.  Put the loofa into containers (I used plastic food containers that were just slightly smaller than the loofa).  Once they are in the containers, turn them over so any extra water can drain out.


While the soap is melting, the clay needs to be rehydrated.  For this recipe I mixed the red Brazilian clay with the sweet almond oil.


When the soap is melted, add the clay and mix well.   Then add the fragrance oil.


Turn the containers holding the loofa right side up and then pour the soap mixture over the loofa.  You want it to just cover it.  Spray with rubbing alcohol to remove any bubbles.


Once the soap has set up (couple of hours) remove from the container by lightly pressing and pulling on the sides to break the air lock.  You can then use a sharp knife to cut the soap in half.  That way you have roughly a 4 ounce bar instead of an 8 ounce one.


The next day you can enjoy your new soap or seal it up from any air.


Previous Melt and Pour Soap Projects:

beach side soap thumbnail

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Wine Down Wednesday – Bricco Barone 2010 Nebbiolo D’Alba


Bricco Barone 2010 Nebbiolo D’Alba


Price: We got it for around $18 at Friar Tuck’s


Manda’s Notes:

  • Slightly tannic and bitter
  • Lots of red fruit notes
  • Hint of pepper
  • Oaky
  • Would be great with a grill steak

Wolfy’s Notes:

  • Nice, deep, red garnet color
  • Not much nose (but Wolfy was stuffed up when we did notes)
  • Oaky
  • Smoky, tannic flavors and finish

We drank the bottle with dinner (salad) and had the rest while watching TV.  Overall it is something we enjoyed and would buy again.



Storage Solution in the Downstairs Bathroom

In the downstairs bathroom there was a small cupboard behind the door.  We removed it in order to get the plumbing lines for the bathroom upstairs.  Once the Master Bathroom was taken care of we turned our attention toward the downstairs and what to build to cover the plumbing.  This is what we came up with.


The bump out from the wall that is covered with bead board is where the supply lines are running upstairs along with drainage lines. The box at the bottom was built out of leftover 2 X 8s and hides more pluming.  Instead of just having a bump out we decided to add a pre-made cabinet on top of the pedestal we made.

The bathroom needs caulked and painted still, but it is coming along nicely- although I am now thinking about redoing the floor.


Previous Downstairs Bathroom Posts:

faux tin ceiling bead board walls downstairs bathroom Installing a new ceiling light and fan downstairs faucet

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Wine Down Wedesday – Houdini Wine Chilling Carafe

I think the biggest way to tell if someone is a true wine geek verses someone just enjoys wine isn’t the size of their cellar, but how many wine gadgets they have.

The newest wine gadget was an impulse buy while we were shopping for new baking dishes.  We were both hesitant at first, but once we tried it out we were in love with the Houdini Wine Chilling Carafe.


The top screws off and you can pull the lid and metal ice container out and fill with the wine of your choice.

Take the rubber plastic plug out of the lid and add ice.  If all your ice melts and your wine starts to get warm you can dump the melted wine and add more.  However we finished our bottle one evening before the wine got warm.


Once the ice is in and the plug is installed it pours from around the center.


What a great way to keep wine chilled during an outdoor dinner party, or while watching TV at night!

Other Wine Down Wednesday Posts:

cab dsc_00152 moscato Williamsburg Winery

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Adding a Deck and Pergola Out Back

Sorry for the radio silence last week.  Wolfy and I took a trip for our anniversary to Okaloosa Island, FL!  What a great getaway.  I will be posting about that soon, or maybe even put up a link to our scrapbook I am making… unless sharing 1000 photos with you is considered excessive?



Our back deck has always been an eyesore.  It was on level, boards were popping off, and it was starting to become a safety hazard.  Unfortunately right under our back door is a basement window so we didn’t have the luxury of slowly working on the deck build.  We knew once we started we had to get at least the majority of the deck boards down the same day so the pups could go outside.  Many people may have planned a small deck, or at least doing the deck in stages.  Not us.  We planned and executed a 17’ x 12’ deck with covered pergola in 2 weekends.  The silly deck is the same size as our living room.

before and after back deck

We started the back deck the same weekend we started the front deck.  We worked back in forth that Memorial Day weekend due to the rain.  We would work on the front deck until the rain picked up and we were afraid to use the power tools then go to the back yard and work, that is why there are no pictures of the first day in the back yard.

The first step was to rip out the old deck.  No wonder that think was sagging into the ground, the supports were 2x4s laying on the dirt!  Once the old deck was out we dug 6 holes for supports.  You can see those as the 6 x 6s that are going to be the supports of the pergola.  There is one hidden in the center.  The holes were set in concrete and the leftover dirt was used to fill a raised flower bed and then help grade the ground under the deck away from the house.  We also used concrete pillars as extra support under the deck.

We busted our butts that first day and got everything done except for two deck boards that we were short.


The next weekend we worked on the deck we had help.  I just wasn’t strong enough to get those huge boards into the air, so my dad came over to help Wolfy out.  Those two were able to get the pergola top on and also the plastic sheets to protect the deck from rain.  It is hard to see but the pergola actually has a ½ inch slant to make sure water flows away from the house.


While they were working up top, I was installing the stairs.


And there you have it, our two weekend project.  There are still some things to do.  We are planning on putting some privacy fencing on the side by the fence to keep the dogs in, and to be able to have some privacy in our back yard. There needs to be some facing boards added to keep the dogs from crawling under the deck.  And of course it needs to be stained.





Previous Outside Posts

painted garage fron deck door knocker

outdoor wedding slider-seating-makeover seemless siding


Faux Tin Ceiling

It has been a while since the last post about the downstairs bathroom.  When I left off we had just installed bead board on the walls.  The next thing we turned our attention toward was the ceiling.  The ceiling was originally blue, and after we installed the new light/fan combo had a very large hole in it.  As we pondered our options we decided we wanted a dark metallic tin ceiling.  But tin in the bathroom, probably not a good idea with humidity and all, and tin is expensive.  Not that our bathroom is huge but it was too high of an expense to justify.

Thankful we found the answer to our quest in the form of 2’x4’ plastic ceiling tiles from Menard’s.  Armed with several cans of oil rubbed bronze spray paint this is what we ended up with:


The project was unfortunately harder than anticipated.  We thought we could use the leftover paneling adhesive we had for the bead board on the ceiling.  Uhh… no.  Not strong enough and not fast enough to set up.  In order to get the first 2 pieces up Wolfy used the finish nailer every 4 inches.  Not only was it taking a long time and very tedious.  The nails didn’t always want to go into the old “horse board” ceiling.  One even went through Wolfy’s finger.  We called it a day after that.

And we didn’t touch it the next day, or the day after that.  In fact the bathroom sat like that, with two panels up, still a huge hole in the ceiling for several months.  Until I took a trip to visit my parents (who live a hour-ish away) and Wolfy decided he had had enough.  Armed with the correct type of glue/caulk (I highly recommend talking to the people at whatever home improvement store you frequent to see which product they recommend) and the pneumatic finish nailer to tack the edges in Wolfy finished the project that afternoon.

And it looks wonderful!


There are a few spots that need touched up with paint, crown molding needs to be installed, the cabinet we ripped out behind the door needs to be address, the door needs shaved down so we can add a transition strip, the whole room needs to be caulked, and painted, but it is coming together.

Previous Downstairs Bathroom Posts:

bead board walls downstairs bathroom Installing a new ceiling light and fan downstairs faucet