Tuesday, December 24, 2013

'Tis the season

Where did December go?  Seriously?  If you are anything like me this year, you are just realizing that today is Christmas Eve and all those grand plans you had for Christmas crafts will have to wait another year!  I guess I will have to join the rest of the crazies shopping for Christmas decorations in July to get anything done!

This was kind of a weird year for us.  We celebrated Christmas with my family last weekend so we really lost a week of Christmas preparation, plus now it feels like it's already come and gone!

Pretty much the only crafts I had time for this year was a simple gift for the wonderful teachers and a noel door hanger.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

A Few Fall Favorites

Immediately following Halloween, fall is over and it's time for Christmas.  All the stores seem to skip right over Thanksgiving.  It makes me sad.  I do love Christmas, but fall should be savored.  You should be able to buy pumpkin cream cheese a week before Thanksgiving!

I'm obsessed with pumpkins and everything pumpkin flavored...aside from pumpkin pie, which is weird.  I don't like it at all.  My challenge this year was to make some of my fall favorites with an allergy free twist.  Some turned out better than others, but just wanted to share some of the best ones!

 Donuts are one of the saddest things my little guy is missing out on, especially since we have a weekly breakfast date with our good friends at the donut shop.  Thankfully he shares my love for pumpkins so he has no problem eating up these guys!

Pumpkin Spice Donuts:
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups sugar

1 can pumpkin
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup applesauce
1/4 cup water
2 cups flour
Set aside a Ziplock bag full of cinnamon sugar.  I started off with 1/2 cup sugar and mixed cinnamon until it was a light brown color.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Beat all ingredients together except for the flour.  Slowly add flour to mixture until smooth.  Pour into donut pans or muffin tins.  I've made them both ways, but the donuts were better.  Bake donuts for 16-18 minutes and muffins for 20-25 minutes.  Let cool.

When donuts are still a little warm, coat with cinnamon sugar by placing into ziplock bag.  You can also sprinkle on top of muffins. 

My absolute favorite find this year was the Tazo Pumpkin Spice Chai Tea Latte.  While grocery shopping at Target one day, they passed out free samples and immediately I was hooked.  And of course only a couple weeks later they cut me off!  They stopped restocking it all together!  So I decided to make my own version and it's just as good!!

Pumpkin Chai Tea Latte
1/2 cup Chai Tea Latte concentrate (I used Tazo Chai Latte)
1/2 cup milk (I used rice milk)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-2 teaspoons pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Combine all ingredients and heat over medium-heat until warm.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

New and Blue Dresser Redo

I don't know about you, but I am in LOVE with painted drawers on white dressers.  There a lot of ideas out there, but it was the white and navy blue dresser from Land of Nod that I fell hard for.  It was just perfect...but the price tag...not so much.  So I decided to go down the DIY route and I am thrilled with the outcome!

As part of my summer (now fall) of decorating project, I decided to update the nursery into more of a little boy's room.  And since the nursery dresser was never really intended to be a dresser (Expedit Ikea Bookshelf), we decided to hit up Craigslist and find a dresser that a little boy could grow up with.  It took a couple months, but we finally found this gem.  Solid wood, smooth sliding drawers and a lot of character...price tag $50.  Totally within my budget!!

My main attraction to this particular dresser was the space in between the drawers.  This was important so that the painted drawers would stand out against the white.  The dresser was already in great condition, but I couldn't wait to see what it would look like with a little sprucing.  Too bad we bought it in the hottest month of the year (August)...so in the garage it sat...and sat....and sat....until the first cool front of the year.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

What's the holdup?

Well summer has come and gone and I don't think I've successfully finished one project since posting my summer of redecoration declaration.  So what's the holdup?  Well...I'm going to blame the weather on this one!

I was able to make a little progress on the playroom.  Since my goal is to update the nursery to a "big boy" room, I wanted to incorporate some of the nursery decorations in the playroom.  I just wasn't ready to get rid of them all together!  My favorite addition to the nursery was the tree decals we put behind the crib.  I knew it would be super easy to transfer them to the playroom.  Boy was I wrong.

After days of tedious peeling and resticking and unfolding and cursing, I was finally able to get them onto the new walls in a semi-straight fashion....only to find this...

Argh!!  The trees are too short!  So I need to fix this somehow.  That's another project for another day...and frankly pretty far down on the list...so for now I will have floating trees.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Who needs a dining room anyway?

We finally did it.  We have been talking about selling our dining room table for months to convert the room into more of a play-friendly room.  Finally we had interest in the table on craigslist!  Even though we've only used it a handful of times since moving in, I will miss walking by it and dreaming of the day we could entertain again.  Sigh.  So farewell to our lovely dining room....and hello playroom!

Click the link below to continue reading.

No artistry skills necessary

Paint is such a great tool for transforming old stuff laying around your house.  For instance, I loved this wooden tree art when I bought it...but I am no't really fond of the black background now.  It doesn't really go with anything in our house.

But in green...it can find a home in almost any room!

All this project needed was a small paintbrush and a lot of patience!  I can't wait to see it hanging in our playroom!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Beachy Barstools

I really loved how my shelf turned out (see here), so I decided I was ready to tackle a bigger project.  I was a little scared to mess up perfectly good furniture, but I never was truly in love with the color of our barstools.  So I finally mustered up the courage to start painting.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

5 Minute Makeover

 An easy way to make a big statement on your wall is a bright colored frame.  One project I would love to tackle this summer is my family photo wall.  Right now they are displayed in boring black frames...which are nice, don't get me wrong...but I'm in love with walls like this or this.

So this little project was a great practice run!  A sweet friend of mine had a baby shower this past weekend and I wanted to make her a special gift.  Her color theme for the nursery is gray, robin's egg blue and red...3 colors which you rarely see frames in.  So instead of searching high and low for a frame to match, I decided to find a neat frame and paint it to match.

I was wondering around Home Goods last week and scored this beauty...or soon to be beauty.  The gold color wasn't really appealing, but I was able to look past it and bought it anyway!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Not-So-Simple Shelf

Well I started this project over 2 months ago.  It was supposed to be one of those simple weekend projects, that even with a toddler shouldn't have taken this long!!  In the end it was worth the wait!

I was in desperate need of a necklace holder.  I originally had a single hook to hold all the necklaces that I have acquired over the years...you know the 2 you wear on a daily basis and the 50 others that you may wear again someday.  =)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

All aboard!

We just celebrated my son's first birthday.  We were so excited that we actually celebrated twice...2 parties...2 weekends in a row!  My son is in love with Thomas the Train, so it seemed only fitting to have a train themed party.

After finding tons of ideas on pinterest, and a few of my own, it all came together really nicely...and only slightly overboard :)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Meet Reggie

Keeping up with a crawling baby is hard work...trying to keep up with household chores on top of all of that is nearly impossible with a  full time job!  If I can finish a load of laundry per week I'm doing pretty good!

So a couple months ago we went on the hunt for something to make our lives a little easier.  Laundry and dishes were already taking a back burner which left no room on the stove for thinking about sweeping...plus I despise sweeping :)

That's when we started toying with the idea of getting a Roomba.  I didn't really know anyone who had one and there were a lot of mixed reviews out there on the internet.  So after debating it for a couple months we decided to just do it, as Nike would say.

Meet Reggie the Roomba: (he really is like another person in our house)

The price was definitely scary.  The Bed Bath & Beyond 20% off coupon was amazing for this purchase though.  We were still skeptical though...seriously how well could this thing work anyway?  Would it pay off in the end?  Let me tell you.  It is a game changer.  We absolutely LOVE it!  Especially with a crawling baby and the amount of tile/wood we have on our floors.

We opted for this model because it was best for pet hair.  We run it on a daily schedule and it is full everyday.  It's definitely gross to think about how much dog hair we used to live in...

There are definitely some cons, don't get me wrong.  Does he make it to every inch of the floor everyday?  No.  The pattern is actually quite random.  I'm not quite sure how they came up with the vacuuming algorithm, but he usually makes it to all the rooms and does a decent job.  Using him everyday ensures that most of the house is always clean...and that's really all I strive for these days!

I was quite impressed with how it is able to climb over obstacles and even vacuum our shaggy rug without getting hung up.  Sometimes, however, he does get stuck in a room by closing the door behind him.  Luckily I work from home though and I can oversee the whole cleaning process.

Anyway...just thought I would share in case someone was on the fence about buying one.  I definitely recommend one.  We hardly have to sweep anymore, and when we do it's not as big of a chore.  I wish they would make one for doing laundry...

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

I hearth safety

We've been obsessed with over-childproofing our house lately.  With our little daredevil, it is a 100% necessary.  Our latest makeover victim...the fireplace!

I absolutely love the natural stone of our fireplace and after we installed hard woods in the living room, it became my favorite feature of our entire house.  I could not even relish the thought of hiding it underneath a layer of wood and foam.  I fought it as long as I could, but in the end, safety won.  For being such a big advocate against anything and everything that would cover up this beauty, I'm actually very pleased with how it turned out.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

My chevron obsession

Chevron is my new obsession.  I can't get enough of it!  I don't know what it is about it, but I'm in love.  It all began last year when I started working on the nursery.  It was literally love at first sight.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Get organized this year!

Happy New Year!

I'm sad the holidays are coming to an end, and that real life starts back tomorrow.

I spent a good portion of the weekend taking down all the Christmas decorations.  Every year, I always have these lofty goals of getting really organized with all the Christmas decorations, but come January, my motivation is more than lacking.  My usual organization consists of throwing things into the nearest box and hoping I can shut the lid and still manage to be able to lift it into the attic....well, ok...lift it up the first two steps to hand it to my husband.

So why change this system of perfection if it's been working for me all these years?  Well, it's all well and good until December rolls around and I spend days looking for the wreath hanger that I swear I bought last year and is now lost in the one of these buckets somewhere...only to give up and buy yet another one (FYI -- I found 3 wreath hangers during this project!).

So this year I finally decided to put all those good organizational thoughts into action!

I found some chalkboard vinyl a couple months ago at Hobby Lobby for only $8, and with the 40% off coupon it was a steal!  I decided to make chalkboard labels in case I wanted to move things around next year.  It was such an easy project, I'm not sure why it took me like 5 years to accomplish it!

And the organization didn't stop there!  I even purchased some ornament boxes to properly store all my ornaments in a central location!  I found these boxes at Target for $10 each.  It still seems like a huge investment for ornament storage, but I'm hoping that maybe the dividers will prevent the 1/2 box of broken ornaments that I seem to find every year.

And of course I never pass up the opportunity to make some cute labels!

Anybody else feeling particularly organizy this year?  I hope I can keep it up the momentum and tackle a couple more projects that are in desperate need of a label or two!

Hope everyone had a fantastic new years!

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