DIY: A Festive Christmas Cactus

I recently came across some adorable Christmas cactus pottery on Instagram and I loved them so much!

Source: Brushstrokes Pottery (click through for listing)

Unfortunately, they were a bit out of my current price range. And this certainly wasn’t a new idea – I’ve seen lots of variations of it everywhere and I wanted one for myself! So, when I remembered that I had thrifted a wooden pallet that I had been meaning to redo when inspiration struck… it worked out perfectly!

I thrifted the “Always Stay Humble” pallet for $4.99 with the intention to repurpose it at some point. I also purchased the paint set and brushes when I was in a painting mood and stuck them in a corner.

It took about 3 coats to cover the old text and then I used chalk to draw on the outline of my cactus. I mixed my own shade for the main body of the cactus, so that I could use the darker green for the lines.

The green took about 2 coats and the magenta was about 3 coats. Then, once it was dry, I added the darker green stripes. At this point, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to paint on the Christmas lights or use brightly colored felt I had sitting around. I decided to go for the felt, so that the colors would be more saturated and also I liked the slight fuzziness of the felt on the painting.

And this is how it turned out! I felt like the base needed a little something extra, so I added some purple plaid to it. I cut out the little gumdrop shaped felt for the lights and also a pretty star for the top. And it just happened to look extra cute with a pompom garland draped on top.

Sure, I still want one of those adorable pink Christmas cactus pottery sculptures. But, my version is pretty darn cute too!

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Do We Need an Inflatable Hot Tub?


When we were traveling for Thanksgiving, we passed a store selling hot tubs. Which lead to me googling hot tubs to see how much they cost. Which than led me to Amazon, where I found inflatable hot tubs. Which led to me reading (aloud) a bunch of reviews where people freaking love their inflatable hot tub. Which led to my husband and I deciding that for Christmas this year we should probably buy an inflatable hot tub.

Yeah, it snowballed pretty quickly.

When we travel, we do enjoy renting places with hot tubs. And an inflatable hot tub seems like a pretty low stakes way to try it out to determine if it would get enough use at our house to justify the purchase.

See, still talking myself into it.

This is the one we are considering: Coleman SaluSpa Inflatable Hot Tub. It supposedly fits four, which means it should be fine for the three of us. Even if one of us is a giant. You basically blow it up, plug it in, fill it with water and BOOM you have a hot tub. There IS maintenance that needs to be done, where you put in chemicals regularly to keep from icky things growing in there. It also comes with a lid.

The reviews are pretty great – on Amazon over 9,800 people have reviewed it and it has 4.4 stars. Which is pretty surprising to me. I didn’t realize there were so many inflatable hot tubs out in the world!

Part of our backyard is fenced in and there is a door to access the area in our sunroom. So, I’m thinking I can keep some towels/robes in the sunroom (maybe a shelf or some hooks?) so that we have them ready to go for hot tubbing time. It’s also right by our laundry room, which is nice for wet swimsuits.

We have a hose out that side of the house, so filling it up should be easy-peasy. We don’t have an outside plug there, but we DO have one on that side of the sunroom — so we can cut a little slit in the screen/plastic window and feed the plug through.

There are a couple potential issues though. (1) The ground isn’t completely flat. So, we may need to put the inflatable hot tub a little further away from the house (and use an extension cord). (2) There are conflicting reports on whether you can just plop the inflatable hot tub on the ground (grass/pine needles/dirt). I’m not really concerned about killing grass, but I’m not sure if we need to dig out a circle to make it more level? I found this hot tub mat that is supposed to help level it, and provide cushion and heat installation to the bottom, so that may be the way to go?

Also, I’m imagining throwing some holiday lights up around the nearby trees. Or fence. Or side of the house. I don’t know – my imaginary hot tub sanctuary has twinkle lights. They also have lots of random light up hot tub accessories, which could be cool.

So yeah, we are letting that idea marinate a bit. If you have an inflatable hot tub or if you know someone with one, I’d love to hear about your experiences with it!

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My Style: November 2023

This month was the switchover period from warmer Maryland weather and bare legs to chilly nights and wool socks. Also, it was kind of the ‘calm before the storm’ before I unleash all that is sparkles and velvet for the upcoming holiday season.

Work Outfits

We moved into our new office location this month, which is very exciting! So this month, we have four work outfits – including a very casual logo fleece version for moving day.

I have two favorites this month. I loved the trippy polka dotted skirt with the floral embroidered cardigan — it is a very ME work look and I felt very swishy all day long. I also love the Anthropologie maxi dress I’m wearing today with the cardigan. It’s giving me ‘fancy marketing princess’ vibes and I’m here for it!

Casual Outfits

Hmm… I didn’t realize I had such a cohesive color story for my casual looks until I put them all here. Haha! I really like both the marigold skirt look (for an outdoor fall family bonfire) and the swoopy patterned cardigan look as well.

However, that yellow patterned dress just photographs so terribly — and honestly, the dress is not really a winner in person either. I wore it to my family’s Thanksgiving dinner and the lack of waist was very helpful though. That one may be hitting the chopping block, as it doesn’t really give me any warm fuzzies when I wear it.

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