Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas Mantel

The other day my husband moseyed in during nap time time find me hot-glueing up a storm. Our kitchen table was covered in popsicle sticks and cedar clippings. He didn't mince his words, he let me know I was crazy.

Until…he came in that evening and saw our mantel. Then he said I needed to post a picture. So hooray for impressing the hubby with my mad hot glue skills.

I will tell you I shamelessly stole the star design from the December 2011 Martha Stewart Living magazine, but I was very pleased with the outcome. I would love to see your mantel, share your blog link in the comments!

In a nutshell:

Glue 16 sets of 2
Glue 4 sets of 4
**And buy a fancier glue gun than I have employed below, maybe Santa will bring me one this year.

Then glue the 4 sets of 4 in a star design, don't worry about the varying levels of height, they actually help you when you add on the points.
I didn't take a picture of the points, but work quickly, 2 at a time gluing to star then matching the ends.

Finally, glue on your greens- cedar clippings like I did, or christmas tree scrap or rosemary. It is all good.
Happy gluing to you!

Friday, October 28, 2011

What we're doing this weekend

What are you doing for the Halloween weekend? Something fun I hope. Hayrides, pumpkins, costumes? We'll be carving pumpkins and having a potluck on Sunday, trick-or-treating and dinner treats at our house Monday. Sounds eventful, right? Oh, did I mention a little kitchen remodeling as well? But between now and then...

Remember this kitchen? Kind of golden, no? And that back splash is dreamy.

I've been doing a little cabinet painting and hardware hanging. Then my oh-so-brilliant husband had an idea for counter tops and voila! I am loving it. Notice the subway tile on the ledge that we will install next week.

But here is where we are at today. This is the part that has to happen by mid-day Sunday. drwywall, counter tops, rebuilding the cabinet to handle my ginormous new beauty of sink, installing the sink and the new dishwasher!

I told you she was big didn't I? That's our kitchen table that comfortably sits 4. But I love her and her mammoth size.

Wish us luck! Hope you have more treats in store than tricks this weekend.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A little girl party

My sweet girl turned 2 this month. Unlike my son, she is not obsessed with any particular theme that I could build a party around, but oh how she loves pink. This turned into the most gender stereotyped party one could ask for which is not like me but…it wasn't about me now was it? It was all about her and she really enjoyed it.

I set up the room a couple of days early so I could focus on food the day before. She came down in the morning, saw the dining room and shouted: "Happy birthday me!" It was super sweet.

Here is what she saw:

My sister used these white poofy balls in her wedding (which was gorgeous!) And I was free to take as many as I wanted. She got them at Michael's, they are a DIY Martha Stewart kit I believe. I plan to re-use them in little girl's room, but I will show you that later.

I also took down my drapes and clipped some pink fabric up as a birthday party window treatment.

I ended up moving the pink bags to the drink station and filled them with popcorn. It was perfect as it gave the kiddos something to eat before cupcake time. I considered several different cup options for the kiddos but couldn't bring myself to spend much cash, so I ended up buying Publix 8oz. water bottles, puncturing the tops with a phillips head screwdriver and hammer, wrapping them in scrapbook paper I had on hand and refilling them with pink lemonade. Just add straws! Grown ups could choose from strawberry ginger ale or pink lemonade.

Then came out the pink treats. I made this recipe for Lemon Pound Cake Cupcakes with Blackberry and Raspberry Buttercream Icing. They were certainly some work, but…VERY YUMMY. I was definitely glad my MIL lent me her standing mixer! I also made Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes with a plain buttercream icing and the kids loved them.

I also wanted to make cake pops because they are just too cute and all the rage, but I took a tip and used doughnuts instead. I bought the Entenmann's chocolate frosted holes, melted pink candy chocolate squares from the craft store, added a little peppermint extract, placed them on candy sticks and started dipping. I should warn you, it thickens. I am told you can add shortening to think it out, but I didn't have any. I should also warn you that you will at some point want to reach out your finger to help smooth the molten chocolate onto your cake pop, then you will scream and run to the sink to soothe your scalding finger. Just sayin'.

I added a cheese plate and fruit bowl to round out the sweet treats for all the grown ups. I was pleased and my little one knew it was all for her which made me a happy mama.

So here is to my sweet girl and making her feel special on her special day.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Kitchen Risk

My husband went out of town for 36 hours. He should know better, crazy things happen when I'm home alone.

Do you remember my yellow, gold and more yellow kitchen? Here's some friendly reminders I snapped before we bought the place.

We've gone around and around on what to do with this room and when...obviously new paint, new countertops, new backsplash. The big question has been paint or replace the cabinets (in other words, $200 or $20,000.)

Well the gold had to go, so I picked a color and painted blue. We are changing our whole pallet in the household to cooler colors.

The good news? We both love the color. The bad news? It made the backsplash and cabinets look EVEN WORSE. But them came some more good news. I have been trying to convince my husband to let me mock up a couple of cabinet doors. The risk of course being, if we didn't like it, we couldn't un-paint. The new look was bad enough he told me to go for it!

I tried a white.

I tried a distressed black.

Black was a win! All votes fell to its favor.

Then I think the "take a risk" bug took on its own passion and I did something I shouldn't have. I thought...let's just see if I can chip up this tile. As it turns out, I can't. And the backsplash is not in our budget or plans for a few more months.

So I'm sure I can stick something in there to cover it for a while. I'll let you know when we get this thing rolling!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Parenting Perk #4

I've decided the 4th most enjoyable perk of parenting young kiddos is getting to make fun themed birthday cakes. You think I am kidding. And maybe I am. And maybe I'm not.

My little boy's two favorite things are fire trucks and Buzz Lightyear.

Okay, and spaceships and "shoot guns" which I still won't buy him but we'll see how long I win that battle.

Anyhoo...naturally birthday cake had to follow suit. So for preschool we did Little Green Men cupcakes with Buzz, Woody and a Soldier on the center cakes.

And for tomorrow's family dinner party, a fire truck cake!

I can't wait until he sees it!

Happy 3rd birthday Little Man!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

It's coming together

I am rearranging and redecorating my dining room to lose the color and play the classic whites and silvers off of the deep blue walls.

So goodbye plate and mirror wall:

And hello bright neutrals.

(PS- made those two balls with a golf ball, a racquet ball, twine and some hot glue. Just wrap, wrap and wrap some more.)

That window treatment is our Christmas white table cloth. I'm picking up another one for the other side.

Picked up most of these silver and candle accents at Michael's at their "After Christmas" sale for 80% off.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Coffee Filters...what?

I just finished my first Coffee Filter Wreath. Yes, you heard that right, coffee filter wreath.

I have seen a few on various blogs so I decided to give it a go. What do you think? I LOVE LOVE LOVE it. I am considering trying another, but maybe dying the edges of my filters first?

Here's the run down. Cost: apx $8. I paid $5 for the foam wreath after using a 50% off coupon at Michael's. I paid $2.60 for a pack of 200 filters. And I used a bunch of glue we'll call that $0.40. The ribbon came with some throw I bought ages back. Total time, about 2 hours.

How to:

I folded a pile of filters at a time into quarters. This was NOT precise, just fold and fold (as you can see in the middle of the wreath.)

Then I started gluing them around the edge with a generous dab of hot glue.

I did this until I reached the inside edge.

Next I took my quartered filters and put the flat edge along the back edge of the inside ring and outside ring.

Easy, therapeutic, cheap project.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Decoupage Candles

Remember these red candles that used to hang on either side of my mantle?

Since we are doing away with red, at first I thought I would have to buy some new pillar candles. But let's just be honest, who wants to spend money if you don't have to?

So I decided to try my hand at decoupage. If it was a disaster...I still had to buy candles. So no loss.

I used a very old french-english dictionary I had and tore out a few pages. Grabbed my Mod Podge that I purchased for a project in my daughter's nursery, a trusty foam brush and started at the top.

As you can see they have been relocated to my dining room.

I will show you my DIY project for what is nested between them on Monday. Then you'll get the full finished product, I am very pleased (though still counting my pennies for that vintage map!)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

New Year Redecorating

I have been moving things around like a crazy woman...didn't I promise I would? Good news is, so far I haven't purchased a thing.

I wanted to give you a peek at my new mantle arrangement.
A few things motivated this:

1- I was looking at it before the re-arrange and remarked to my husband that it was the one part of the room I was happy with. The look on his face suggested he didn't agree. He told me he liked cooler colors better than the reds.

2- I started looking at pictures in blogland and my idea book. I generally lean toward the cooler colors and a more eclectic style.

3- I decided I am really tired of balanced symmetry. I prefer layering and a variety of heights and textures. I seem to always try to balance things and group in 3's because they are hard fast rules I can follow. It takes a little more trust of my instincts to move things around until they "feel" right.

What do you think? I kept the pieces I loved like the elephant an the globe. I especially like that nothing is attached to the wall which gives me a lot more freedom to rearrange for seasons and as the mood strikes me.

Maybe later this week I'll show you what I DIYed with those candles that used to hang on either side.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Lyrical Genius

I thought I'd share my lyrical genius with you this morning. By that of course, I mean, my blatant copyright infringement as I take a song and change the words. Though this would be a seemingly Christmas tune, I assure you can use it year round. A nice way to break the tension when your 1 year old is whining or temper tantrumming. Without further ado...

(To the tune of I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas)

I don't want a grumpperpotomus for Christmas
Only a happypotomus will do
No whiney-ineys or ugly fussy-usseses
All I want are the happypotomusseses
The Grumperpottomusses just won't do

Saturday, January 15, 2011

One of those mornings

You know the ones. Where you get up at 6 for a little peace and quiet alone time, and as soon as you open your Bible the baby starts crying. Then when you finally give up and get her up she is so grumpy she wakes up the preschooler, who is also grumpy for waking up so early. I think it goes without saying that your grumperpotomus is coming out as well.

I finally gave it up and made muffins to prevent breakdown at about 7:15...with earphones and music so I could pretend I was alone. ear was phoned that is, can't exactly leave a 1 and 2 year old beyond your hearing.

So here is to embracing a morning unlike what you'd hoped, snuggling on the couch, eating muffins and counting down to very early morning nap time.

And here's a little secret, while the kiddos sleep and darling husband works down in the basement I will be rearranging furniture and wall hangings like a mad woman. These are the kinds of things my man thinks me crazy for, so I have to do it when he's not looking which is tough since he works from home. Maybe some pictures to follow.