Halloween bottle brush/ Moon face tutorials

I’ve been asked to do tutorials on two of my more recent Halloween crafts by several Instagram followers on @helloJolley so here ya go!

I’m going to start out with the bottle brush tree tutorial because it’s the easiest one. And I should mention first that I actually got the idea and tutorial to do this from the book Glitterville’s Handmade Christmas. Just an FYI for you crafty people- this is a great read. And there is also a Glitterville’s Handmade Halloween book too! 😉

The awesome thing about this is you can do these in any color combinations you can think up – if you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for out in stores you can make it yourself!

The tutorial in the book starts out with green trees so the first step is to bleach your trees. I have done this before to do dip-dye trees using Rit dye… but the great thing is hobby lobby makes these beige/ white bottle brush trees already. They’re huge and really inexpensive when the Christmas goes 40% off. So I didn’t have to bleach my trees.

After you have your trees picked out- you need to pick out your acrylic craft paint. This is the really cheap stuff that comes in hundreds of colors for less than $1 each at every craft store. I got mine at Michaels.

Also at Michaels I got a few Martha Stewart metallic and glitter paints which cost a little more but add that ‘extra’ to your trees in my opinion.

Before I started painting I bent the top of the trees into a more whimsical shape and trimmed the bristles at the top to exaggerate that bend a bit.

The second step is to add white paint to your tree. Doing the first coat in White helps whatever colors you choose to pop a little more than they would on the beige. Think of it as your primer. I just used a craft paint brush and went crazy painting both the base and bristles white. I also think you could do a light spray paint coat instead- it would be faster and have better coverage for sure.

After you let your white paint dry completely then it’s time to pick your colors and design. I wanted Halloween trees that were striped. I knew I wanted a black and white striped tree and I also wanted to try one that was a nod to candy corn but in non-traditional colors. To make them go together better I tied in the same colors on opposite bases.

For painting the bristles you can use a folded piece of card-stock paper to stick in the tree and divide them up where you want. It’s easy to get going with the paint brush and accidentally get the wrong color where you don’t want it so the card-stock helps protect from oops moments.

For painting the base I used a small detail paint brush to do careful narrow stripes. That’s pretty easy to eye ball and you don’t want these to be perfect – it just adds to the whimsy, right! 😜

After I let all the colored paint dry I decided to do a coat of glitter paint over the bristles and the block on the base. It just added that extra fun and finished touch for me. And the glitter paint is pretty cool because if I try to use loose glitter it just gets everywhere. This stuff is easier to control. But that’s all! Super simple and fun. I might do some more for Christmas this year. 🎄

The moon face was a bit more tedious and complicated – but still doable for sure! I should start by saying I was inspired by @houseoflotsofpink on Instagram for this project. I have no idea how she made hers – she is probably much more talented than me and maybe she even freehanded hers but I’m not that patient so I did an acetone ink transfer for this. You can YouTube many ways to do a printer ink transfer but I used acetone because it’s what I had on hand at home. (Acetone = nail polish remover.)

First I googled ‘vintage moon face clip art’. I had my husband Bill blow up the image and print it for me- it took up 4 sheets of printer paper. He had to do that because me and technology are not usually friends. 😜 We lined up the image and taped it together.

I bought this wood circle on amazon and painted it with white chalk paint.

We did some test runs with the acetone and realized really quick that our printer ink wasn’t going to transfer well enough onto the wood alone so I needed to fill in the image with a black sharpie.

I flipped the sharpie image facedown on my painted circle and taped it on so it wouldn’t slide around when I used the nail polish remover. Then I used paper towels soaked in acetone on the back side of the image. I carefully lifted the paper periodically to see if I was getting enough of a transfer- as you can see from the next picture some areas did better than others. Some spots didn’t transfer at all and some bled too much.

Even though the transfer wasn’t perfect it was good enough for me to use a fine detail paint brush and fill in these areas with black paint. I did that first then I went back with white to clean up the bleeding areas.

I loved how it turned out so well on the first side that I decided I wanted to do a man in the moon face on the back side of my circle.

These are both fun projects. I’m sure I’ll make more trees and would use the acetone ink transfer technique again. If you do either of these projects tag me @helloJolley I’d love to see your spin on it!

Basement Bathroom Remodel

I am so happy to be FINALLY writing this one you guys. This basement bathroom has been years in the making at our house and I am SO happy with how it turned out!

So let me just show you what we started out with….

This room was pretty awful- it had a bathtub, and brown outdoor carpet on the floor originally. The flow didn’t work – we had to close up a wall. Basically it was a continuation of some bad remodeling that had been done in the rest of the basement – And this was the last area we needed to give a major makeover in the basement.

After: it’s still a basement bathroom meaning we have opted at least for now to leave the ceiling open and unfinished. We decided to do a shower down here instead of a tub and I LOVE the shiplap walls. Now I really want to do shiplap every where. 😬

This bathroom is officially our nicest and largest bathroom in our house now. I’m still looking for a cool chippy storage cabinet and the trim work needs finished but its usable! We did already do our half bathroom/laundry room shortly after we moved in. It looks like this…

But now that this basement bathroom is functional we can think about tackling our main final bathroom upstairs. This will involve saving up so we can hire out the whole thing. I may have already bought a super ugly old claw foot tub that needs a serious makeover for $50 for the space. 😂

Baby Products You Will Actually Use

Now that I’m well into newborn baby life I thought it could be helpful to some of you to do a blog about baby products that are actually worth registering for. The best of the best- the items that I am using every day that are in my opinion – very worth the money. So here’s my list of faves divided into sub categories with the reasons/ honest reviews.


  • Keekaroo peanut changer – the whole reason I had to have this was because it can be wiped down! And in my opinion it is well worth the price because it can be wiped. I would be spending so much time washing changing pad covers if we didn’t have this thing because our little peanut loves to pee and sometimes poo while she’s getting her diaper changed- especially by her dad. 😂
  • Ubbi diaper pail – I love this because it keeps the smell contained like a diaper genie but I can use my normal scented glad trash bags in it. Plus it comes in any color you could want.
  • Hello Bello diaper delivery – diaper and wipe monthly delivery is such a nice thing. Plus picking the patterns each month is actually fun. I feel like the price is decent too and you can add on extras if you need them. It’s convenient and I don’t ever have to worry about running out of wipes.
  • Baby bum diaper cream brush- ok we don’t use this everyday but when you need to apply diaper cream it’s pretty awesome. Plus you can wipe it off with a baby wipe after.

Breast feeding:

  • Hakka breast pump – I’ll admit I had to YouTube how to use this but trust me when I say you need this. You use this to passively collect milk from the other boob while your breast feeding your baby. It’s great. The only negative is my baby likes to kick it off my boob and then you can get milk everywhere if you’re not quick about grabbing it. 😂 If you’re going to have to go back to work like me you will still need an electric breast pump at times. I also bought a Madela hand pump that I know I will use more once I go back to work and only have a few minutes to pump and no time to deal with the electric.
  • Boppy pillow – I use this everyday all day. It’s great to breastfeed with and also just to help hold her. Dad likes to use it to hold her and also be able to hold a video game controller. 😏 The cover sometimes gets messed up from spit up so I bought a really cute set of covers on Amazon so I don’t have to frantically wash any when they get messed up.
  • Swings, carriers, and pillows etc:
    • Snuggle me organic baby lounger – we use this all the time and she sleeps really well in it. I know we will have to wean her off it when she starts to roll over so it may become a negative for me depending on how hard that is to do. 😬
      Tula free-to-grow carrier – took some time to get the hang of it but it’s really the only carrier you need. It’s for babes 7-45 lbs. so you can obviously use it a longer time than most. I had also bought a Solly baby wrap and I can only get the hang of it when I have a mirror to use… so it’s not really great for on-the-go at least for me. A friend passed on a ring sling to me that I haven’t really dived into how to use yet but that may end up being awesome too.
      Graco simple sway swing -my baby loves this thing. She spends at least a few hours of every day in it.
      Graco pack n play – this is in our living room and she sleeps in it during the day and is where I can safely put her down when I need to step out of the room for a minute.

    Sound machines:

    • Baby shusher – I didn’t register for this but when I took Indie to her newborn pictures the photographer was using one of these. It’s different than the hatch because it’s portable. It has a 15 minute and 30 minute timer and when I’m having a hard time getting her to sleep it sometimes helps out.
    • Hatch sound machine – we use this every night all night. We use the cricket/ night sounds setting most often but there are a bunch of sound and light color options on this. It’s super cool. Plus when she gets older it can transition into an alarm clock that changes color when it’s OK for her to get out of bed in the morning.


    • Wubba Nubba – not something I registered for but she really likes it. It’s easier for her to hold onto since it’s attached to this toy plus there are lots of cute animal options. We went with the pink duck. I was also a big fan of the cute lama option.
    • Cutie Pat Pacifiers – when she’s not in the mood for her wubba this is the winning paci option for her. The larger size and circle handle seems to make it easier for her to hold it in. We had one and then she liked it so much I decided to get a second.

    Bath time:

    • Cradle cap comb – We use this during every bath to get the skin flakes out of her hair.
    • Flower bath – I’m so glad we got this instead of a traditional baby tub. The best part is after you’re done using it you ring out the excess water and throw it in the dryer. Clean up is the easiest because of this.
  • I hope this list is helpful to someone if you’re pregnant and trying to figure out what you actually will use when baby arrives. And of course, just because this is my must have list doesn’t mean it will be yours. Everyone has things that work great for them- that may not work for someone else.
  • Newborn Life

    Officially halfway through my 8 week maternity leave and I cannot believe how fast time is flying. I didn’t know how much I would love being a mom but I’m so happy to be hers. 💕

    In one month I’ve taken a lot of pictures and we have already started making some sweet memories.

    So excited to see her grow into her own little person and also trying to soak in the last few weeks of leave we have together. 🖤

    Welcome to the World Indie Girl 🖤

    Our sweet girl is one whole week old and we are adjusting to less sleep and loving all the sweet baby snugs. 🥰 I already cannot imagine our lives without this little girl.

    Indie Wilder Jolley came into the world after a VERY long induction process September 10th 2019 at 4:48 am. She was born 6lbs 15 oz and 19 3/4 in. Long.

    So thankful that our girl is happy and healthy and that we are adjusting to all the changes so well. 💕

    Birth Story:

    (Don’t read further if you don’t want to know the very real details. )

    At my 39 week Drs appt I decided to schedule an induction because I was already on work leave and my first week of 8 was already up. Baby was content right where she was and my Dr. said she could stay that way for another week or two since I was not dilated at all. This was my first time having a baby and literally everyone had told me I should go on leave 1 week before due date ‘just in case’….. for us that’s not how things would work. And I didn’t want to waste anymore of my limited leave so without a ton of details of the process I would have to go through- I scheduled the induction for as soon as possible which was starting Sunday September 8th at 9pm.

    That first night was spent trying to get my cervix to open by having medication placed every 4 hrs which was incredibly painful. We went through that process twice (8 hrs worth) and were not able to continue with it because my contractions started coming so hard and fast that it was dangerous to me and baby.

    The results of my first IV attempt. 👍

    By mid day on September 9th (due date day) dilation was going so slowly with just the medication that they placed a catheter in my uterus that applied pressure to the inside and outside to open things up quicker. This intensified contractions so badly and I was already so exhausted having been up all night that I had to get a pain medicine in my IV that completely knocked me out for about 2 hrs. It was a tough choice for me to make because of the risks but I knew if I didn’t sleep at all there would be no way I could push when I needed to.

    The good news is not long after I woke up when the meds wore off – the ballon in my uterus had opened my cervix halfway which meant that almost 24 hrs into labor I could FINALLY get my epidural. And that by far was the BEST part of my labor experience. 🤣 I could literally feel nothing. My legs were like rag doll legs. The nurses had to toss them around because I was officially useless.

    At this point my nurses were telling me that we could have a baby by midnight on September 9th so we texted our parents and told them the countdown was on and that they could come to the hospital (5:30 pm ish)

    This is when the story gets really ‘fun’. 😏

    Apparently my induction was scheduled for one of the busiest nights this labor and delivery floor has ever seen. And everyone else that was there was ending up in emergency C-sections and with complications… so although I was ready after my epidural for my water to be broken – there was no available physician to deal with my delivery which was ‘lower priority’ than the others going on because I was healthy. So yeah, being punished for being healthy. 🤔

    We literally heard the lullaby music announcing 4 births before they would come and break my water. Now it’s around 2 am on September 10th (36+ hrs into labor).

    They broke my water and then they threw my legs over this crazy peanut ball that I ended up absolutely hating. The nurse put the bed up in all these crazy uncomfortable positions – so it was impossible to catch any sleep- even with my epidural still working. Plus I was extremely fatigued as it had been days since I had slept well. We finally get to the part where I’m supposed to push… and the nurse says we need to do some practice pushes to see if I can feel enough to push her out. I could not.

    And this is when I was ready to strangle someone. 🥴 My nurse turned off my epidural because it needed to wear off ‘enough’ so I could push.

    It wore off a lot and very quickly and the contractions were intense. So intense I threw up and aspirated half of it back down again because of the position of the bed. I choked for a good 15 minutes trying to get it all back out again. Did you know throwing up during labor is normal? Because I definitely didn’t. The nurse made me do ‘practice pushes’ until she saw her head! And THEN she called my Dr. at 3 am to tell her she could come because I was ready and she had to do a twenty min drive to get there… 😤

    Each contraction came and was more intense then the last. The 20 minutes it took for my Dr. to arrive were straight torture because I wanted to push and my nurse told me to keep my legs shut till the Dr. got there. 🙄

    My husband guesses 25 pushes once the Dr. came and Indie was finally here. 😭 (For me the number of pushes was just a painful blur.)

    Never have I ever been more exhausted but happy. 🥰

    After that I know the placenta was delivered, I know my Dr. stitched me up, I know they had to soak up all the blood that was on the floor. But I know all this in the periphery of her face. I couldn’t look away from it. This is true love at first sight people. 😍 The only kind I believe in.

    We got some better pictures after I was allowed to take a shower and eat and sleep an hour or two.

    We got to come home from the hospital on September 12th 2019- Our 10th wedding anniversary. Couldn’t have been more perfect and we couldn’t wait to get her home.

    Here’s my advice. If you only get a limited leave from work start your leave when your baby is literally hanging out and ready to come. I never would have felt the kind of pressure I was feeling to do an induction if I would have not started leave till she arrived. And if we have any more children that is 100% how I will do it. My leave will start when baby comes NATURALLY. 😬

    Something else worth mentioning about giving birth is your hormones are so crazy and irrational. Luckily so far one week in the ‘baby blues’ haven’t hit me yet. Partially I think it’s because my husband has taken 3 weeks paternity leave with me and I have appreciated his help so much even though with breast feeding he can’t really help me with those all night feedings.

    Even though I’m the only one who can feed her he watches her so I can shower in peace or he gives me a 3 hr sleep chunk between those feedings. He picked up our groceries today and changes so many diapers and today I gave him a hug and cried about him going back to work even though we have 2 weeks left before he does. 😭

    Another example of irrational behavior that I KNOW is irrational is when a family member of mine simply said “She looks like her Dad.” That comment made me bawl in the hospital- and not because I didn’t want her to look like her dad. I love her dad and I think he’s very attractive and I know if she 100% looks like him she will be very attractive too. But there’s something about having just been in labor for 36+ hrs with no sleep and being told that child looks nothing like you that gets under your skin. No matter how much you love your partner- you feel like you did all the work- because you did. You carried her for 9 months, you puked every night for the first 3, you were the one who had to deal with all the discomfort and body morphing changes, you labored for days and then you’re told you had nothing to do with the way she looks at all?!

    I know, I know- you think I’m crazy now but I think any mom secretly feels this way- especially when they’re sitting in the hospital with adult diapers and cooling packs in their crotch. 😂

    Anyways, if you read all this you’re the bees knees 🐝 👍👍.