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Holiday & Parties Articles


How to Make Dollar Store Christmas Trees
Jocie | November 14, 2012
How to Make Dollar Store Christmas Trees

Welcome to OPC’s The Better Half. My name is Jocie, and I love to craft and DIY my home into something wonderful. I hope you enjoy this tutorial on Dollar Store Christmas Trees. It’s been a popular article with over 10K pins and growing! If you enjoy this article, check out some other recent crafts and consider subscribing to The Better Half (email or RSS). Also, feel free to share this tutorial on Facebook and give it a +1. All the buttons float along the left side of your screen. Thanks!I began this Christmas tree endeavor... 

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My Thankful Tree
Jocie | November 8, 2012
My Thankful Tree

This year, as the girls are growing up, I really wanted a way to keep our hearts humble and grateful, and not just use Thanksgiving as the time to over eat and kill time before Christmas. I have really been enjoying the month of Thanks on Facebook – each day we share something we are thankful for. Its been really neat! I’ve been looking for ways to help the girls join in on Thanksgiving, more than just the day. If you are a Pinterest fan or hang out in the DIY/design blogger community, Thankful Trees are super popular this... 

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Adoption Shower and Celebration
Jocie | September 26, 2012
Adoption Shower and Celebration

One of my best friends also happens to be my cousin, Naomi. She’s four years older than me and most of our years growing up together were spent on opposite sides of the world. I grew up in Maryland while she grew up in Kwajalein, part of the Marshall Islands. We only saw each other maybe every other summer but were great friends and pen pals. If I ever want a good laugh, I sometimes read our old letters and reminisce about whatever boy I had a crush on at the time or the weird fads that I was in to (like button collecting).Almost... 

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Fall Decor Using Wood Scraps and Burlap
Jocie | September 17, 2012
Fall Decor Using Wood Scraps and Burlap

Last week you may have read that after 31 years, I decided to act like a grown up and create my first fall mantel. Yeah, so every other woman in my family has been doing it forever, and yeah, it’s not that hard, but it sure did feel like kinda a big deal. I guess it wasn’t that hard, and it does look really cute. Burlap is kinda the essence of fall…okay, maybe not the essence. Most would say that pumpkin and football are the essence of fall, but burlap is so hot right now. So I wanted to incorporate burlap into my mantel... 

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Fall Burlap Mantel Bunting/Banner
Jocie | September 14, 2012
Fall Burlap Mantel Bunting/Banner

Growing up, my mom and grandmother always changed their mantle decor for every season or holiday. In addition to changing the mantle, they both changed up the flags or wind socks, wreaths for the door, and knick knacks for the bathrooms and entry table. Sometimes they would even exchange decor between the house to spruce things up. Not a bad idea. Since buying our home 6 years ago, I occasionally change up the wreath on my door, but usually I just forget until someone asks why I have a wreath of robin eggs on my door at Halloween. (that... 

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Elegant and Rustic Wedding Ideas
Jocie | May 22, 2012
Elegant and Rustic Wedding Ideas

Okay, so we didn’t almost die, but we thought it might be a definite possiblity. A co-worker of mine got married this past weekend in south-west Virginia, about 4 hours from us. We left the girls with my sister-in-law (Thanks, Charis!) and got a hotel room for the night. It was a rare treat to be with adults, dressed up, and without the kids! We weren’t really sure what to expect of the wedding. I knew that it was at her sister’s but was under the impression that my co-worker comes from southern money, so it could have... 

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I mustache you a question…
Jocie | April 30, 2012
I mustache you a question…

Do you love a good mustache party? I do! A few weeks ago, my dad turned 60. My mom, my siblings, and I decided to throw him a surprise party. His birthday actually fell on Easter this year, so we told him that we would be celebrating his birthday on Easter, you know, lump them together. Instead, we surprised him the day before at my house. I think we got him pretty good, too!Since my mom was busy with Easter and housing out of town family for the holiday, I took over most of the party planning. Okay, so maybe I just love planning a party... 

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Lucy’s First Birthday Happy Hour
Jocie | April 9, 2012
Lucy’s First Birthday Happy Hour

Well, its been almost 2 months since we had Lucy’s First Birthday Happy Hour Celebration and I figured I was overdue to share it with you. We had an amazing time and all the decorations and coordinating outfits came together beautifully.When we picked the date we didn’t realize that the Raven’s would be in the play-offs and be playing at the same time as the party. Fortunately, the color scheme was already purple so it looked perfectly planned when everyone showed up in Ravens purple. Sadly, the Raven’s lost and... 

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Izzie turns 3: a Tangled party!
Jocie | February 22, 2012
Izzie turns 3: a Tangled party!

Last week, Izzie turned 3! I can’t believe how quickly 3 years has gone. As she’s a little older now, she got to have some say in the theme of her birthday.  She loves everything princess and her two favorite princesses are Ariel and Rapunzel. She was Ariel for Halloween this past year (she loves to tell people she has red hair like Ariel, lol!), but when I suggested we have a princess party, she said she wanted to be Rapunzel. So, from there, the party evolved into an all out Tangled theme!This is a picture of Izzie (right)... 

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Make your own Ballerina Birthday Outfit
Jocie | January 10, 2012
Make your own Ballerina Birthday Outfit

Lucy, my baby, is about to turn ONE at the end of this month! I can’t believe how fast the past year has gone. As you can imagine, we are very excited and the party planning has begun. When Izzie turned one, I searched for a “Birthday Girl” shirt and, while very cute, I felt like I could top that with Lucy. This was a much easier project than expected and was more time consuming than anything else.Here are the step-by-step instructions so you can make your own complete outfit at home! The T-Shirt This shirt idea was... 

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