The Spookiest Scarecrow Ever — Easy DIY
These spooky scarecrows are my favorite October project that I’ve ever created. The whole project takes less than an hour and will look terrific in any yard.
Part of celebrating Halloween when we lived in New York was making a trek to (the real live!) Sleepy Hollow to see Legends Night. It’s super cool. Creepy and spooky without being horror-movie-like or a typical gory haunted house. We loved it. Old lanterns line the pathways. There are ghosts in a boat paddling on a pond. Storytellers recounting local legends. The Headless Horseman riding by. Fresh apple cider and donuts. Just wonderfully done through and through.
Around one of the bonfires at Legends Night, they had 3 simple scarecrows standing guard. Basically, they were a wood cross hung with old rags and topped with a pumpkin head. And they looked so dramatic all lit up by the fire. I had been wanting to recreate one (or three) for ages and I finally did it. It was so easy, I wish I had done it earlier.
Here’s the easy how-to (written, and in video form):…
Announcing: Newlane University Scholarships!
In January I wrote about a very affordable online university called Newlane. Ben Blair is a co-founder of Newlane and has been building this university from scratch for the last 5 years. When I say affordable, I mean it — at Newlane, an Associate Degree is $1500, and a Bachelor’s Degree is $1500. That means you could do a full four-year degree for $3000. It’s a debt-free college education, with no lump sums of money required. Instead, the payments are $40/month until you reach the $1500 degree cost. And yes, if you’ve already done some college courses, you may be able to transfer your credits and earn your degree even faster! (Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find out if your credits are transfer eligible.)
In January, Newlane had just achieved International Accreditation, which is a really big deal, and we were celebrating! At that time I interviewed Ben and asked him all the questions about Newlane that I get asked by Design Mom Readers, and I put all the answers in a blog post. So if you’re curious, go check it out — that post is super informative and helpful.
Enrollment at Newlane has continued since then, with students from around the world signing up, and interestingly, one of the most frequent questions Newlane has received over this last year is: How can I give a scholarship? They’ve heard from so many people who want to support Newlane, but already have a degree so aren’t looking to enroll. They just want to send money to support Newlane’s mission. And because Newlane is so affordable, people have realized their donation could fund someone’s entire education. It’s amazing.
So Newlane has been trying to figure out the best way to offer a scholarship option, and they’ve come up with something really cool. They’ve teamed up with Haiti Partners to create a Newlane Global Scholarship Fund! You can read the announcement on Newlane’s website, or on Haiti Partner’s website.
This is how it works:
A donor sends money to Haiti Partners for the Newlane Global Scholarship Fund. It can be any sum — $5, $10, $25, $50, $100. It all helps — $40 funds an entire month of university education for a student; $1500 funds a 2-year degree (or a 4-year degree if the student already has 60 or more credits) $3000 funds a full 4-year degree.
10% of the donation goes directly to Haiti Partners. 90% of the donation goes directly to a student’s Newlane education.
Why team up with Haiti Partners?
Newlane partnered with Haiti Partners for several reasons: First, Haiti Partners is a very respected non-profit with certified 501c3 status. Which means your scholarship donation is tax-free in the U.S.. And second, as a family we have supported Haiti Partners for many years now. We believe in what they are doing and know how important that work is, and how effective they are at their work, and are always looking for ways to support their work.
Is my scholarship donation tax deductible?
Yes, if you are a U.S. taxpayer, your scholarship donation will be fully tax deductible.
Who benefits? Are the scholarships just for Haitians?
This Newlane Global Scholarship Fund sponsors Newlane students all over the world, including the U.S.. Haitian students are welcome to apply, but the funds are not set aside specifically for them. On the Newlane Scholarship page, you can find three examples of current Scholarship Recipients.
How can I give a scholarship?
It’s super easy. Head to the Haiti Partners + Newlane Global Scholarship Fund donation page. You can choose a one-time donation, or a recurring donation (every month, or every six months, or whatever timing you choose). You can pay with a credit card, bank transfer, or Google Pay. If you have any questions, please reach out to Ben Blair: email@example.com
How much do I need to donate?
You can donate any amount you would like — even small donations add up! Every time donations reach $1500 total, it will provide another full scholarship for a student to earn a degree through Newlane. You can choose a one time scholarship donation, or even a small monthly donation.
One of the coolest things about donating to the Newlane Global Scholarship fund is that, because their tuition is already super affordable, your donation goes much further than it could at a traditional university — for $1500 you can sponsor a college degree! That’s just not possible at a traditional university. Along these lines, Ben said: Looking ahead, we anticipate that individuals could set up an endowment that would fund students in perpetuity for a fraction of the cost of a single semester scholarship at another university.
How can I get a scholarship?
If you are interested in applying for a scholarship, head to the scholarship application page to get started. Applications are reviewed by the Newlane Scholarship committee, and they work hard to make sure that any committed student who wants to attend Newlane, can do so.
Like I said back in January, I’m so proud of the work Ben Blair and everyone at Newlane is doing. Making a university education affordable and accessible is a really big deal, and it’s really important. If you want to support Newlane’s mission (here’s the Newlane Manifesto), making a donation to the Newlane Global Scholarship Fund is the ideal way to do so. Any amount helps — even small amounts add up! — and you’re directly funding a student’s college degree. Which means you’re changing someone’s life for the better.
Should I Make An NFT of My Twitter Thread and Raffle It Off?
In April of this year, while working on the wood floors in my attic, I was listening to a podcast about NFTs, and I had what I thought was a cool idea: I’m going to make an NFT of my Twitter Thread about Irresponsible Ejaculation. Then I’m going to raffle it instead of auction it, so that anyone can have a chance to win. And I’m going to promote the raffle to women in particular, to encourage us to dip our toes into the world of crypto-currency, if we haven’t already.
So I sought out advice about how to do such a thing, wrote up a draft of a blog post to announce it, and then… I paused. I was having second thoughts.
I’m pretty sure that what I’ve written so far is going to bring up questions immediately, so I’m going to write this next section as a Q&A in anticipation of what you might be wondering. Let’s dive right in.…
Should I Make An NFT of My Twitter Thread and Raffle It Off?Read More »
Living With Kids: Cara Jones
Today’s Living With Kids family, the Joneses, live in Park City, Utah. It’s a town in the mountains just outside of Salt Lake, where recreation and outdoor adventure is king. They even have a daughter who is a competitive Ski Jumper! What an amazing hobby to have as a kid. Living in a small mountain town isn’t without challenges and finding the right home was a bit of a struggle, but I think you’ll be charmed by their wide open living spaces.
Let’s go say hello.…
Easiest Lasagna Ever! Make this recipe with Frozen Ravioli
Who could use a dinner idea that’s easy (like super easy), hearty, and delicious? How about the easiest lasagna recipe in the world?
Can I just start by saying this: frozen ravioli is a freezer must-have. It’s not like you can make that many meals with frozen ravioli, but it does make a pretty awesome weeknight lasagna. We’ve done a few variations over the years, but a good, marinara-sauced Ravioli Lasagna seems to be the favorite. And really, this is just baked ravioli, but saying lasagna makes it feel a little fancier, right? And it has all the basic components of lasagna — layers of noodles, sauce, and cheese. See? Lasagna it is. :)…
Easiest Lasagna Ever! Make this recipe with Frozen RavioliRead More »
Living With Kids: Janice Grant
I can’t wait to introduce you today to Janice and her charming family of people and animals who live in Perth, Australia. She’s an artist, so are her children, and her husband is a musician — you can feel the creativity flowing through their home with the ongoing art projects, bright colors, and texture upon texture. And because the summers are mostly sunny and warm in Perth they have beautiful gardens and livable outdoor spaces. It’s also so interesting to hear about a totally different experience with COVID and the shutdown. Welcome, Janice!…
Newsletter & Link List
Hello! I’m back in France and waving at you from the Tall House. I just got back yesterday afternoon — I was in the U.S. for two weeks. Mostly I was there to help my daughter Maude get settled in Charlotte, North Carolina. But I also spent a couple of days in New York on the way back to France. I received a ton of questions about what Maude is doing in Charlotte, and what I was doing to help her get settled, so I thought it would be fun to answer some FAQs.
I’ve also made some updates to the new Design Mom Office Hours program — I’ve held about 20 meetings so far, and I’ve loved every single one. I’ve also learned a ton and have made adjustments accordingly.
Click here to find the full newsletter (it’s free!) and link list.
Make it! Kid-Designed Halloween Dishtowels
Here’s a fast and easy project to try this week. It’s a project that will let your kids shine, and once you master the simple technique, you’ll want to use it in a million ways (Thanksgiving napkins! A Christmas tablecloth! A custom laundry bag!).
The technique is called glue-resist. You may be familiar with it because once, long ago, I shared a glue-resist project in my book. But this time we’ve made a big improvement. The basic idea is that you draw or write something with glue on a cotton fabric. Then you dye the fabric. Then you wash the fabric. And when you wash it, the glue rinses away, leaving your un-dyed design. The problem is, that when you put in the glued-fabric in a hot dye bath, it can make the glue dissolve. Tricky.
Then I had a Duh! moment. Why don’t I use cold dye? And why haven’t I thought of that before? So I tried it and it’s awesome.
Wanna try? Get your glue and let’s get started!…
Living With Kids: Chenay Pointer
Chenay has been here once before, about a year ago when she talked about her and her then husband moving into a much smaller space. Well, since then she and her husband have divorced and while he stayed in the home they shared, she has downsized yet again and is now in a 400 sq ft studio apartment that she shares part time with her kids and full time with her two older cats. Chenay has great advice about moving on, living in a smaller space, and readjusting when life throws curve balls. Welcome back, Chenay!…
Newsletter & Friday Link List
This week’s newsletter is about my new Design Mom Office Hours program (which you may have seen announced here on the blog yesterday). I also included a compelling link list if you’re in the mood for some weekend links. Enjoy!
Click here to read the full newsletter (it’s free!) and find my weekend link list.
Sheet Pan Dinner: Salmon with Curried Yogurt Sauce
Sheet Pan Dinner: Salmon with Curried Yogurt SauceRead More »
Tall House Updates: The Original Doorbell, Bathroom & Kitchen Updates, and an Upcycled Window
After a slow summer, work on the Tall House has started up again. I’ve got so much to tell you about! If you’ve been missing out on the Instagram highlights, this post will catch you up on several recent projects.…
Tall House Updates: The Original Doorbell, Bathroom & Kitchen Updates, and an Upcycled WindowRead More »
Newsletter & Friday Link List
Tomorrow marks 20 years since September 11th. Earlier this week, in discussions about that day, I saw someone ask: Wait… there were no baggage fees before 9/11?!?!?!
Remember what air travel was like back then? The last flight I took before 9/11 was on August 2, 2001. I had a long flight to New York with my 2-year-old, Maude, and 4 year old, Ralph. I was also 8 months pregnant. Here’s what happened…
Click here to read the full newsletter (it’s free!) and find my weekend link list.
Living With Kids: Meta Coleman
At first glance, I would’ve sworn Meta’s home was somewhere in Sweden. Denmark, possibly. Or Norway. It’s got all the markings of a home from that corner of the world, with its crisp white walls, heady bursts of brights, and edited knickknacks that look like they traveled a long way to get there. But, no…the Coleman home can be found in Utah!
This home tour isn’t all about pretty things and fresh decor. The Colemans endured a devastating loss earlier this year, and part of what inspired me most about Meta is the way she’s finding her way through the sadness to happy again. I wanted to share her story with you because I know there are many others trying to find that way, too. I hope this helps. And I truly hope you enjoy this tour. Friends, please welcome the Coleman family!…
Chateau Tour & Another American Family
Last week, we randomly met an American family who bought a chateau a few minutes from our little town in France! We couldn’t believe it — we so rarely see Americans around here, and if we do see them, they are typically just passing through on the way to the D-Day Beaches or Mont St. Michel. So it was really fun to realize we had new American “neighbors”.
The family is from San Francisco and they have two kids who match up age-wise with two of ours. They bought the chateau in 2019 and spent the summer there, but then the pandemic hit and they couldn’t come back till this summer.
They invited us over to take a tour of the property and I shared it all on Instagram Stories (Chateau Tour highlight). They were actually heading back to San Francisco just a few days after we met them, and it was such a happy accident that we found each other and were able to connect before they left town.
Would you like to see the tour?…
Easy DIY: Make This Industrial-Chic Cement Pencil Holder
It’s official: a new school year is upon us! And it’s time for a fun + desk-related project. This DIY incorporates two of my favorite things — fresh school supplies, and cement. Best of all, it’s not just for pens and pencils. This handsome + utilitarian item can be designed to hold any number and any size of desk accessories. The style and layout is all up to you.
Don’t be anxious about working with cement for this project. Yes, it requires concentration, a bit of muscle (which surely you have in spades), and an odd combination of working fast and waiting. But the end product is worth it. These heavy duty holders would look handsome on any desk.
Ready to get to work? Let’s go.…
Easy DIY: Make This Industrial-Chic Cement Pencil HolderRead More »
Newsletter & Link List: Have MLMs Ever Ended a Friendship For You?
I just saw an ad for an upcoming documentary about LuLaRoe, and now I want to talk about MLMs. What are your experiences with MLMs? Have you ever bought an MLM product? Have you ever sold MLM products? Have you ever seen relationships damaged from MLMs? Will you be watching the documentary?
I grew up in a community that embraced MLMs, and in the newsletter, I share some of my experiences. I’d love to hear yours too.
Click here to read the newsletter (it’s free!) and find the link list.
Dinner on the Grill: Moroccan-Spiced Chicken Kabobs with Whipped Feta Sauce
Don’t these Chicken Kabobs look amazing? At our house, we ADORE anything that even hints at Greek food (if a recipe includes feta, it counts!). Bookmark this recipe. You’ll want it the next time it’s too hot to cook in your kitchen — which might be tonight! Full recipe and notes straight ahead.…
Dinner on the Grill: Moroccan-Spiced Chicken Kabobs with Whipped Feta SauceRead More »
Living With Kids: Miranda Anderson
Austin! I think of Austin the same way I think of all those other cities where the locals love life in it so much that they hate the thought of ever leaving. Right, Portland-New York-San Francisco-Asheville-wherever you live, too? Miranda loves it there, and from the way she describes it, I think we all might!
Have you met Miranda? If you’re a crafty one who likes to sew, throw parties, eat yummy treats, or get your DIY on, you may have already met her. If not, please allow me to introduce our sweet tour guide today. She is lovely, as are her home and thoughts she’s sharing with us. Welcome, Miranda!…
Newsletter: A Magical Summer & Mormon Vaccine Drama
Hey there. So much to talk about these days! How much I don’t know about Afghanistan. A new family portrait. More natural disasters than I can keep track of. Lots of LDS church drama. Big house projects. Family vacations. And so much more.
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