FREEBIE! A Star Wars Halloween

If you know anything about our family, you know that Star Wars is a big thing with us. So it makes sense that I’m spreading a little Star Wars love this Halloween. (My favorite is the Wampa.) Enjoy!

I Love Wampas

I Love Ewoks

Day Two

Every year there are certain traditions we’ve carried on. As with anything, we evolve over time. Here’s our top 10 for this year:

  1. Nothing Christmasy till after Thanksgiving.
  2. Youngest family members play elf.
  3. Nog, Apple Cider, and Hot Cocoa with marshmallows become part of our food vocabulary.
  4. At least one White Elephant Ornament Exchange party must take place.
  5. Handmades heavily influence both tree theme and gifting. This year knitting is the theme.
  6. Ria designs and hand-renders our Christmas cards. This year I’m collaborating with #myscoleoptera aka Rock Paper Fox.
  7. Christmas Eve is spent at my mother’s where we share wine and tapas buffet-style. We can bring one mutually agreed on present from home and open it there. We can also open one thing from mom. Anything else she brings later.
  8. Christmas morning we get up early, open gifts and drink cocoa, then have breakfast. Mom comes over in the afternoon to open her presents.
  9. We try to do at least one daytrip to see the lights with mom in St. Augustine. This year we’re hoping to do an overnight with mom in St Augustine. We are also mailing our cards out from Christmas, Florida this year so I can take my family to see the fort.
  10. New this year: Christmas letters! My cousin Sandy and her husband Ron do a Christmas letter each year that we always look forward to. I’ve been wanting to do one, but I wasn’t really inspired till this year. I’m designing self-mailers and having a blast.

What are some of your holiday traditions? Do you have decorations that have been handmade or handed down? Tag me on Instagram @renmeleon so I can see them!

Don’t forget to download your free digital-Advent paper crafts!


October began my most favorite time of year with its fall breezes and changing leaves. Though in Florida we do not have much of a change of -seasons, the weather can change here from day-to day at times that make you unsure what season it is supposed to be, the feeling is still the same. Fall brings with it thoughts of Halloween decorations and trick-or-treating, Thanksgiving dinners and, in my case, birthdays.

Yesterday was spent renewing old family ties while enjoying each other’s company on a farm near McIntosh. My girl did a photo shoot with a black and white bunny named Cooper while a huge Tom (whose days were numbered) walked his plump self about the pen. Dust floating in the air, the warmth of the lingering summer sun on our backs, we enjoyed a hay ride to the upper pasture where we could feed the cows.

Children played happily in large bins of corn kernels as Val and I sat down to savor homemade strawberry shortcake with whipped cream (fabulous job Ginni, thank you!); fresh strawberries giving off so much sugary juice in the bowl that it soaked into the cake underneath and made our last bites worth waiting for. A few cool breezes and a bag sitting on the table near me, some of the homespun crafty goodness in Nana Ginni’s shop, we waited for my girl and her daddy to emerge from the corn (sorghum) maze.

After a few goodbyes, we set out for home, hot showers, and our individual catnaps before heading out for a bit of trick-or-treating. Ghouls and goblins, vampires, Iron Man, the Flintstones, (a small one year-old pumpkin who was absolutely precious) and, ironically right behind us, a little flannel-clad wolf with furry face and hands who followed my Little Red Riding Hood around the mall. We picked up a late dinner on the way home, rented a couple of movies, and spent the rest of the evening relaxing.

Having slept in this morning, we watched our other movie rental while enjoying honey drenched waffles and coffee. Catch up with email, a couple of posts to my college class, and we are off again to my mother’s for heaping plates of taco salad and more Halloween goodness.

Brightest blessings to you and yours this day and always. May your day be full of the joys of family and friends, and your night filled with sugary goodness and fun costumed mayhem!

Arrr Matey!

Avast ye scurvy dogs! It be that time of year again when the seas roll high above the horizon and the winds be fillin’ yer sails. It be International Talk Like a Pirate Day today!

So what be the point of this ‘ere International Talk Like a Pirate Day?
There IS no point, that’s why it be so much fun!

Oh but how do ye do it? How do ye sound like ye be knowin’ what it feels like ta have yer sea legs and a salty complex. Let’s be findin’ out…

Now if ye live in Florida yer a lucky dog to be true, but yer gonna havta wait till January for the Gasparilla Pirate Festival here in Tampa’s Bay. Ol’ Gaspar and his crew av’ been invadin’ the Bay since 1925, takin’ o’er the town of Tampa, spreadin’ chaos and random happiness. Ye can get yer tickets startin’ October 1st for the big family friendly Extravaganza on the 23 of January and the Festival itself ain’t not but a few days away on the 30th.

So in the meantime, spend yer day talkin’ the talkin’ and walkin’ the walk. Pillage a nearby table and steal a leg or two to complete yer ensemble.

Oh! And if it be online ye be talkin’, yer not left out. There be ways ye can talk online like a pirate too!

I dug this treasure chest of Disney goodness up last year so blast the <del datetime=”2008-09-19T16:41:46+00:00″>cannons</del>…err speakers…and sing along!

Yo Ho (A Pirates Life For Me) – Disneyworld


Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for me.
We pillage plunder, we rifle and loot.
Drink up me ‘earties, yo ho.
We kidnap and ravage and don’t give a hoot.
Drink up me ‘earties, yo ho.

Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for me.
We extort and pilfer, we filch and sack.
Drink up me ‘earties, yo ho.
Maraud and embezzle and even highjack.
Drink up me ‘earties, yo ho.

Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for me.
We kindle and char and in flame and ignite.
Drink up me ‘earties, yo ho.
We burn up the city, we’re really a fright.
Drink up me ‘earties, yo ho.

We’re rascals and scoundrels, we’re villians and knaves.
Drink up me ‘earties, yo ho.
We’re devils and black sheep, we’re really bad eggs.
Drink up me ‘earties, yo ho.

We’re beggars and blighters and ne’er do-well cads,
Drink up me ‘earties, yo ho.
Aye, but we’re loved by our mommies and dads,
Drink up me ‘earties, yo ho.
Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for me.

…or, if ye be like me and ye fancy ye’self a modern pirate, click ye hook on the play button below and follow the COMPLETE lyrics…

Hoist the Colours – Hans Zimmer


Yo, ho, haul together,
hoist the colors high.
Heave ho,
thieves and beggars,
never shall we die.

The king and his men
stole the queen from her bed
and bound her in her Bones.
The seas be ours
and by the powers
where we will we’ll roam.

Yo, ho, haul together,
hoist the colors high.
Heave ho, thieves and beggars,
never shall we die.

Some men have died
and some are alive
and others sail on the sea
– with the keys to the cage…
and the Devil to pay
we lay to Fiddler’s Green!

The bell has been raised
from it’s watery grave…
Do you hear it’s sepulchral tone?
We are a call to all,
pay head the squall
and turn your sail toward home!

Yo, ho, haul together,
hoist the colors high.
Heave ho, thieves and beggars,
never shall we die.

Arrr! So put on yer best eye patches mateys and swash a buckle today till the sun sets on the horizon. Be a good pirate, or a bad one if ye prefer, and talk like a pirate all day!

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