The Crazy Hat Box

there's a hat for that!

(Baseball) Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend

You can’t live in the Midwest right now and not have baseball fever.  In fact, if you go out in public and you’re not wearing blue, chances are, you’re the odd one out.  It’s everywhere, and Midwest pride has never been higher!

When my sister and her boyfriend got engaged during last year’s post season, we knew we’d be throwing them a baseball-themed couples’ shower!  So we went to work gathering all kinds of ideas for decorations, foods, and gifts.  We threw a couples’ shower because, c’mon, the guys have to have fun, too, and the baseball theme was a big hit!  So, if you’re looking for ideas for a World Series party, look no further!

The Decorations

What’s a Baseball party without the baseballs?


White paper lanterns with stitching drawn in red Sharpie




Rubber bases used as placemats

We also created baseball-themed signs to place around the house:


“Locker Room” sign for the bathroom


“What a Catch” sign for the front door


“Gift Shop” sign for the gift table

The Food

The thing about baseball food is it’s easy and universally liked.  Who doesn’t love hotdogs, popcorn, and cotton candy?

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The Extras

As a gift for the Bride and Groom, we found a wooden C (the first letter of their last name), added baseball stitching to it (with red Sharpie), and had people sign it.  And we had baseball caps with “Bride” and “Groom” written on them for the couple to wear at the shower!




The Games

What’s a party without games?  We did a quiz about the couple, and also a quiz about Baseball Terminology.  Which is a baseball term: Uncle Charlie or Uncle Bob? If you’re curious about the answers, here they are: Baseball Terminology – answers

Get out there and party for our Boys in Blue – Let’s Go Royals!

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Reduce and Reuse – but Recycle the Pickle Jar

I’m a big fan of repurposing things.  I’ve turned old glass bottles into soap dispensers, tiles into coasters, and old windows into a greenhouse box.  But, my favorite repurposing technique is reusing containers and jars, often originally containing food, to store other things.  However, it doesn’t always work out.

I especially hate throwing out glass jars.  It seems such a waste, when they could be used for other things.  After I use the contents of a jar, I wash it well and use it for something else.  One day, after finishing a jar of dill pickles, I washed it and put it aside to use later.  Not long afterwards, I picked up a big bag of dark chocolate Peanut M&Ms (yum!) at the grocery store.  I brought them home and looked for something to keep my snack in.  Remembering the pickle jar, I emptied the bag into it and put it high on a shelf (so no one stole my snack).

The next day, I went to get a few M&Ms.  I opened the jar to a whiff of pickles.  Hmmm.  I tasted one.  Yep, M&Ms infused with pickles.  Not exactly what I was going for.  And the longer the M&Ms were in the jar, the more they tasted like pickles.  I still ate them because, c’mon, it’s still chocolate.  And, on the bright side, no one wanted my snack.

So, lesson learned – put the pickle jar in the recycling bin!

Here are some other items I’ve repurposed (without the new contents smelling like the old contents):


A salsa jar repurposed as a container for yeast.


A jar previously containing a candle now used for miscellaneous office supplies.


A food can  as a fork holder (this works great for parties).

Happy repurposing!


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Hosting on the Go – Hot Drink Bar to Go

We have friends that moved over the weekend.  Well, seeing as how we live in the Midwest, February decided to leave like a lion.  So, we had snow.  Although it made it a little inconvenient, it also made it pretty.  There is something magical about a neighborhood or a yard or a house in a soft, white blanket.  I knew it was going to be cold, so I asked if I could be in charge of providing hot drinks for everyone.  I also wanted to make it as convenient to transport as possible.  I decided on hot coffee and hot cider.  I always like to have options with drinks, so I came up with a few things you could add to these delicious choices.  I started with coffee.  The obvious choice to go with coffee is cream and sugar.  I chose sweet cream, since it’s basic and yummy.

Cream and Sugar and Spices
I then made my recipe for hot apple cider.  I let it warm in the slow cooker overnight and it turned out great!  For yummy little embellishments I included cinnamon sticks, ground nutmeg, and ground cloves.

Cinnamon Sticks

To keep everything warm, I put them in vintage thermos’ which I happen to collect.  I normally don’t do disposable cups, but for this purpose I did.  I included: cups with lids, a sharpie to write names on cups, napkins, hand sanitizer, and all of the stuff mentioned above.  I put everything in my easy-to-carry plastic Coca Cola crate and it turned out to be super convenient and added a little fun to the whole process.

Hot drink bar to goSpoons and marker

Here is a picture from their front door as the snow began to accumulate.

Friends Move

We made it home safe and sound and here is a picture of our backyard.

Back yard 2

A warm congrats to our friends from our old, country, farm house to your new, lovely home.  We wish you many years of happiness and wonderful memories.  We will always remember moving you in the cozy, wintery snow of a Midwest February.

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