Paint a Polka Dot Pumpkin

A few years back my friend Brittany made up the cutest chalkboard pumpkins. She painted a chevron pattern all around the sides and then in the middle she painted a large chalkboard oval that you could write fun Halloween messages on. It was a big hit at her kiddos fall festival.

That was my inspiration for my fall porch this year. I grabbed a few pumpkins and some black and white paint and went to town! These polka dots are so easy the novice crafter can do it….I promise! You just need the right size brush….if you can spin a top….then you can paint perfect polka dots. Easy!

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I did a large S on the front. If you aren’t comfortable free handing the monogram then print one off the internet and trace on the pumpkin.

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Here is what you will need:

black paint

white paint

FrogTape Shape tape (I used the scallop design) You could use regular painters tape if you’d like)

a large pumpkin

1/2 inch craft brush

paper plate

ribbon for the top

clear sealant of some sort (preferable to be outdoor)

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I cleaned my pumpkin with a little rubbing alcohol and buffed it clean. Tape off and smooth down the tape well. Paint on the black paint….let dry and do a second coat. For the polka dots, put some paint on the brush, put your paint brush perpendicular to the surface and press and spin. See the above pics for visual. Practice on a plate to get the hang of it….spin the brush all the way until you have a perfect circle/polka dot:) You can add a few lines around the stem too:)

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After it is all dry, add a couple protective coats of outdoor sealant to protect your beautiful work!!

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Add a couple cornstalks, some mums and you’re in business:) 20150926_180445

Have fun with it!

And remember to tune in on Instagram all month long….tag up your favorite fall décor so we can feature you!


I am off to Chi town this weekend with this hunk….celebrating our 19th! So blessed to share my life with him:) I love you babe:)


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Fall off the bone tender baby back ribs

My kiddos have braces….and we all love ribs—but many times eating ribs with braces proves to be a challenge.  I have shared a recipe for ribs previously that are great for the weeknight because they cook up in just an hour. These ribs that I am sharing today are also a great weeknight meal…but you have to plan a bit more in advance. You can cook these ribs and then refrigerate—and before you eat them just heat them up on the grill. When I make these I tend to cook them earlier in the day while I am working…and then just leave them covered until dinner time. This recipe will produce tender, juicy, fall off the bone ribs every time. fall off the bone ribs @cleverlyinspired (3)

You will just need 3 ingredients…along with your favorite barbeque sauce. Easy peasy…I promise.

Do yourself a favor and line the pan with heavy duty foil (or a couple layers of regular foil.) I would even suggest a throw away foil pan.

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Finger lickin awesome:)

Fall off the bone tender baby back ribs
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4
  • 1 rack baby back ribs
  • 1 large onion sliced
  • 1 bottle of beer
  • seasoned to taste
  1. Heat oven 300.
  2. Line large cookie sheet with heavy duty foil.
  3. Scatter onions on foil to make a "bed" for the ribs.
  4. Place ribs on onions and season with salt, pepper or rub.
  5. Pour beer on top.
  6. Cover tightly with foil.
  7. Place in oven for 2. 5 hours.
  8. Let rest or place on grill for 10 minutes to give the ribs a crust.
  9. If making ahead, let ribs rest-- refrigerate until ready to grill and eat.


fall off the bone ribs @cleverlyinspired

Back on Friday with another fun Halloween craft to do with the kiddos:) Hubs and I are celebrating our 19th Anniversary in our favorite town of Chicago….peek in on Instagram for some pics:)


Ghost Halloween Craft

Hey hey…happy Monday! Hope you had a great weekend. It’s that time of year where we have a ton of extra candy in the house….send me some will power would you? My friends at Hershey’s sent a ginormous box of candy asking me to share with you a fun Halloween craft idea. Of course my kids think that I must realllllly be important now—since Hershey sent me candy…#ornot.

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5 for the road: Fallifacation

Did you watch the Muppet’s this week? Gotta say…I was rather disappointed. Not nearly as witty as the original….and way over “sexed”. I will tune in next week to see if it is any better….hoping so.

I cannot believe that we are already at the end of September! Pure craziness!! Hope you have some fun fall outdoor activities to get to this weekend.

Shout out to BHG for featuring my wood wreath from a few years back! They rounded up some really cute ones to try….if you need a project:)

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Easy Weeknight Jambalaya Recipe

Hey yall! Hope you had a great weekend. I was able to get away with a few girlfriends for some dancin and laughing in Nashville. A short 3 hour trip south….and it’s like you’re in Vegas. That city does not sleep…dancing till all hours…bands playing…the music literally fills the air and you can’t help but feel like everyone is attending one large party. Very festive:) easy weeknight jambalaya@cleverlyinspired (8)

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