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Despite the fact that some days (and weeks) can seem to drag on, somehow a year can just fly by. And while we say goodbye to 2011, the kind and talented folks across the interwebs have given us wonderful gifts to mark the days of 2012 — these six monthly calendars pages are all available free for to print at home.

Motivate Me 2012 CalendarWatercolor fruit and vegetables decorate monthly calendar pagesOwl-themed monthly calendar pages for 2012

As Halloween approaches the veil between worlds may be getting thinner, but the temptation to dive into the bags of candy being stashed for the trick-or-treaters gets thicker. Distract yourself from those snack-sized sugar bombs with these spooky treats instead:

Skeleton Gingerbread CookiesChocolate coated pecan-caramel spidersCupcakes piped with frosting to resemble brains

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It’s getting around that time of year again, when the holidays start creeping up and descend upon you before you know it! My big project for this month is focus on keeping myself from eating the stockpile of candy I’m building for the trick or treaters so I won’t get caught having to run to the store midway through the night on Halloween, but if I were to do it up right, here are a few Halloween tricks I’d like to have up my sleeve:

Wreath made of candy cornFelt table runner cut to resemble a spider webCutout paper and candles create spooky shadows
Illustrated sea turtle image

Click here to print the July 2011 calendar and bookmark

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Chicago’s pre-eminent weatherman, Tom Skilling is predicting a high of 98 degrees for the city today (and no, the LA boy band is not playing Taste of Chicago). All this heat call for some tasty frozen desserts post-haste!

margarita popsicleswatermelon granita with cilantro & black pepperstrawberry-lemon yogurt pops

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Because one can never have enough dessert (and if you’re still trying to figure what to get Dad on Sunday, one of these ideas might also make quite a tasty gift).

Chocolate chip cookie stuffed with an Oreo cookieSingle serving pie in a jarHomemade candy buttons
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The previous compilation of stuff to make from t-shirts being my number one post to date, here are a few more ideas of how to turn old or freebie t-shirts into something other than rags:

t-shirt refashioned into a shrugShirt created from restyling t-shirtsT-shirt dress inspired by Prada
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While we’re working toward a more minimalist lifestyle here at the casa, I’m also not about to start chucking stuff into a landfill to make that happen. So I’m always looking for ways to keep what we do have neatly organized until I can find a new way to repurpose it. Here are a handful of great do-it-yourself projects for keeping stuff organized from around the web that are on my to-make list:

Wall mounted spice rackAccessory organizer
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Time to replace the winter gloves with garden gloves and the snow shovel for the spade! For Chicago at least, folklore has it that once Mother’s Day passes we can begin putting some plants in the ground. Whether your garden is in a backyard, a rooftop, or a windowsill, here are some great gardening projects to check out:

Mini greenhouse made from a 2-liter soda bottle Japanese moss ballsCreating a tiny terrarium in a light bulb
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May 2011 calendar and bookmark Happy May Day! It seems spring might actually be upon us here in Chicago. There are buds on the trees and magnolias in bloom, and the sun is actually out.The May calendar and bookmark was designed by special request for a “spring showers/rain/water sort of theme”. It reminds us that the spring showers sure to dampen the coming days are necessary for the wonderful explosion of colorful flowers on the way (now only if those rainstorms could happen overnight…).

instructions

  1. Print on heavy weight paper (e.g. cardstock)
  2. Trim 1/4″ off right edge of page, then cut along dashed between calendar and bookmark
  3. Fold bookmark in half and glue both sides together; for additional panache, punch a hole at top, and add a ribbon or tassel of your choice
  4. Hang your calendar, find a good book, and enjoy!