Games to Gift

By Kate Riley December 8, 2016

Whenever I go to Vegas to hang out with my collection of cousins we always spend an evening around the dining room table at someone’s house drinking wine and playing a game. Over Thanksgiving we played Loaded Questions which kept us all laughing for hours and making up hashtags to go along with our new inside jokes.

One of my favorite questions to hear when I visit my friends’ houses is “Have you ever played ____?” Earlier this year some friends invited us to play Mexican Train, that was new to me and a lot of fun too, one that you can enjoy with kids as well.

Games are a great gift, one that always gives you something to do on a cold winter’s night other than watch TV. I rounded up some for your consideration !


Utter Nonsense combines stereotypical accents (ex: redneck, pirate) with card playing, bring your irreverent sense of humor to table.

Be strategic in playing all your dominos to win with a fun round of Mexican Train.

Host a table top scavenger hunt with your friends and their smartphones with Game of Phones .

Make your way through a series of beer challenges with Beeropoly.

Creative questions and their personal answers leads to a lot of laughter with Loaded Questions.

I hear you get to know people on a totally new level with Most Likely To.

Laugh out loud while guessing players’ random answers with the write in card game “Things…” at your next get together.

Embarrassing situations happen. How will you react to them in the Awkward Moment game?

Fun for kids and adults, choose one of five camels racing around a track in the crazy betting game of Camel Up.


What games do you love to play at parties and with friends or family? I’d love to read your recommendations!

DIY Merry Sign + Holiday Porch with Lowe’s & Habitat for Humanity

By Kate Riley December 6, 2016

Ho ho ho, Merry Christmas! That’s what I got to say two weeks ago when Lowe’s asked me to cheer up a porch for a family that’s benefited from a new house through their partnership with Habitat for Humanity.

Decent and affordable house is a challenge for many families so I was honored to be asked to bring some holiday cheer to one of the families in this new neighborhood in Las Vegas. This is such a great program and I was excited to add some festive touches to the porch for this family!


I opted for a classic red, green, and white palette which always looks cheerful this time of year. I brought them a bench and plant stand that the homeowners can use as a side table throughout the year. Some azalea plants now live next to the front door and will look fresh all year round. For Christmas, I layered the new additions with a few holiday themed decorations to welcome them to their new home.





This neighborhood building project was a partnership between Lowe’s and Habitat for Humanity. They joined joined forces to work together with families to build or repair their homes in 2016 so they could move in before the holidays, what an amazing Christmas present right? They’ve built and remodeled 1,009 new homes in 2016, incredible!


Many families will celebrate the holiday season from the comfort of a safe and stable home for the very first time. Here is the before and after shot of the porch, I was so happy to be able to add some holiday cheer!





sources for porch decor: bench / plant stand / deer silhouette pillow / wreath


Lowe’s asked me to include a DIY project as well so I made the family a “Merry” sign that could be displayed year after year. It’s simple. 6 x 24” poplar board painted with small paint samples from Lowes and a template I made.





To recreate it you’ll need to download the template, then pick up a 6 x 24” poplar board, 2 paint samples, painter’s tape, small art brushes, a disposable sponge brush, all purchased at Lowes. You’ll also need a sharp pencil (or utensil) and a ruler to etch the letters into the wood (see below).


I decided on a white background with red letters, so first paint your board the background color with the disposable sponge brush and allow it to dry. Next clip the letters from the template and space them evenly across the painted poplar board, securing them with painter’s tape.


Using a sharp pencil or utensil, push down along the edges of each letter. Use a ruler as your guide (I used a book since I couldn’t find my ruler!)


The etched edges form the letters on the painted wood, use those ridges as your guide to fill in the letters with a second color of paint. I found two Valspar display paint samples that worked perfectly. I also painted the edges of the poplar board with red paint too.



With a steady hand and two coats of paint you’ll end up with some nice modern letters that spell out “Merry” !





Lowe’s has partnered with Habitat for Humanity for over a decade because they believe that safe, stable homes are a source of strength, pride and security for families. Thanks so much to Lowe’s for the opportunity to dress the porch of a deserving family on behalf of this Habitat for Humanity project!



*This post is sponsored by Lowe’s in partnership with Habitat for Humanity. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog! If you’d like to learn more about Lowe’s partnership with Habitat for Humanity or how you can help, visit Lowes/Habitat for more information.