DIY Wool Wreath

Remember how everyone went goofy for that tufted wool wreath from Anthropolgie, and there were DIYs everywhere? I had to. There was a NEED you see. My old wreath didn’t work anymore because the storm door always pushed it so hard against the wood that it took off the paint..and every Spring I’d have to touch it up. I finally decided enough was enough; I needed a slim profile wreath with some give to it.

Modfrugal DIY wool wreath

I used Lion Brand Homespun Thick and Quick in the Dove colorway. I followed this tutorial, except I cut the bundle once through the middle instead of twice on each side so my pom poms were longer and looser.Modfrugal DIY wool wreath

Modfrugal DIY wool wreath Then I hot glued them onto a thin MDF wreath form I got at Michael’s (couldn’t find it online) and the whole thing was done for about $16.00. No more scraped paint!

Yellow Snowballs

white chocolate meyer lemon truffles aka yellow snowballs

Yes, that is the classy name my boys gave to the white chocolate and meyer lemon truffles we made this year. The recipe was requested on Instagram, so here it is! I adapted it from this recipe I saw on Pinterest.

After reading the reviews and tasting, we adjusted the recipe as follows:


  1. 12 ounces high-quality white chocolate, chopped or chips (Ghirardelli works well)
  2. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  3. 6 tablespoons heavy cream
  4. 1 teaspoon corn syrup
  5. 1 teaspoon lemon extract or pure lemon oil
  6. the zest of a whole lemon
  7. white sanding sugar for coating


  1. Add white chocolate and butter to a bowl, then microwave on medium power for 30 seconds. Stir a few times, then microwave for 20 more seconds, OR melt over a double boiler (my preferred method).
  2. Add heavy cream and corn syrup to a small saucepan and heat over medium heat just until bubbles appear on the edges. This will happen quickly! Immediately pour the cream over the melted chocolate and butter, stirring well for a few minutes until combined. Stir in the lemon oil and lemon zest, mixing to combine. Place in the fridge (or even the freezer) for 1-2 hours.
  3. Remove from fridge and let it come to room temperature for about 10 minutes and scoop out teaspoon-size balls of chocolate with a melon scooper or small spoon. Roll them into balls and dip in the sanding sugar, coating completely. These hold up great at room temperature, but you may also store them in the fridge.


++++ 2014 UPDATE++++++ I tried using a different brand of white chocolate this year and the ganache was too soft – higher fat content apparently, so be mindful and keep a little chocolate back in case you need to add more to firm up the mixture.

white chocolate meyer lemon truffles aka yellow snowballs

Another New Outfit

I didn’t like it. I gave it a few weeks and there were too many things on the theme I wanted to change. I’ll tweak this one through the weekend and see how it works, but I feel calmer and lighter already when I come here…so maybe I’ll post more since I like the decor better?

modfrugal redesign 2013


DIY Death Star Ornament

It’s that time of year my friends! The CC makes his annual DIY ornament for the Things. This year, he’s really blown me away. LED Death Stars!!! He has created an Instructable here.

He won 1st prize for the “Make it Glow” Instructables competition for last year’s TARDIS (although we both thought the Dalek was better!) So maybe he’ll make the finals this year too – who knows!


CC's DIY Death Star on Instructables

CC's DIY Death Star on Instructables

CC's DIY Death Star on Instructables


Once upon a time, I lived in Colorado where skiing and other outdoor activities are the predominant lifestyle rather than the anomaly. I’ve always missed the mountain life, so when we moved from flatlands to Nashville, I felt like I was getting a wee tiny bit of that lifestyle back. While not in the mountains, Nashville has some beautiful undulation in its landscape. Tall wooded hills to hike and get your blood pumping, great parks within the metropolitan area, all make me want to be outside more than in and it feels soooo good. But the best perk is we’re now only a few hours away from the Smoky Mountains, and we camp and explore the mountains at least once a year during the warmer months.

I wanted my kids to learn to ski fairly early, so when Thing 2 was about 5, we packed up and headed to Colorado and did the whole thing.  At this point, I hadn’t skiied in about 15 years and OH, I had forgotten how much I loved it… and to my relief and delight, the rest of the family loved it too. Problem is, we don’t live out there, and it’s EXPENSIVE to get us all out there and skiing. We needed to find a way to get our winter sports on in between the big trips out West. We were overdue for a winter Smokies trip.

We headed East to Maggie Valley, North Carolina so we could ski Cataloochee over the Thanksgiving weekend. I’d always read very mixed (leaning toward negative) reviews about North Carolina skiing, and I did my best to prepare everyone that their expectations needed to drop considerably from the skiing we had done out West.


Modfrugal Maggie Valley/Cataloochee

Modfrugal Maggie Valley/Cataloochee

Modfrugal Maggie Valley/Cataloochee


Much to our delight – it all worked. Was the snow light and fluffy? No, but it was skiing! Only 4 hours from where we live, for a fraction of the cost. The whole place is a little rustic, and could use a bit of love and attention, but they make their snow every night and we were A-OK with it. This changes EVERYTHING.


Modfrugal Maggie Valley/Cataloochee

Modfrugal Maggie Valley/Cataloochee

The town is a little odd. It looks like it was in its heyday in the 60’s, Lots of motels with motor courts, and my best guess is the boom of neighboring Waynesville has caused Maggie Valley to suffer. I saw so many shuttered up businesses right on the main road that leads straight into Cherokee. I couldn’t figure out why they couldn’t make a business work there? With skiing in the winter and fishing and hiking in the summer, (and gambling all year) it would seem ideal for setting up shop. But we saw a LOT of this.

Modfrugal Maggie Valley/Cataloochee
I became a little fixated on this building above. We drove past it every day on the way to and from our cabin.

Formerly “The Viewpoint” this place just made me so sad and I feel like it could be so great again…just someone with the cash and ambition to save it.
Modfrugal Maggie Valley/Cataloochee

Starvin’ Marvin got tired of starvin’ I guess and closed it all down…..

But there was the cutest little A-Frame development we drove through, some for rent and some for sale, so maybe next time we come we can try and rent one.

Modfrugal Maggie Valley/Cataloochee

Modfrugal Maggie Valley/Cataloochee

Modfrugal Maggie Valley/Cataloochee

We rented a tiny cabin and I tried to make Thanksgiving festive. Not knowing if the cabin would be equipped with spices or anything, (it had nothing) I precooked most everything so all we had to do was roast our chicken and warm up the rest. I was grateful for minimal effort after a long day on the mountain.

Modfrugal Modfrugal Maggie Valley/Cataloochee

At the weekend, we decided to ski half day and we drove into Cherokee for a little exploring. I kept seeing signs for Santa’s Land, so we thought the kids might get into the holiday spirit if we went to check it out. Apparently NOT. How silly of us to assume Santa’s Land would be open in the Christmas Holidays!!

Modfrugal Maggie Valley/Cataloochee

Despite all the quirks, this trip was a great revelation of what was available under our noses for the past 5 years we’ve lived here. We’ll be back to enjoy that mountain again, and would love to make it an annual Thanksgiving tradition. There were no lift lines on Thanksgiving day, and we were able to get Thing 2 snowboard lessons for a song compared to other places. We’ll be back, sooner rather than later, that’s for sure.