Monday, January 30, 2012

Pinterest Inspiration

Good gravy - how did a week already go by? I've been busy running around the house like a crazy person I guess - It's been busy around here with kids and school and other house/life chores, I haven't had a whole lot of time to be inspired to do anything. I've been browsing Pinterest a lot - and have been far too inspired to make a few yummy things that ARE NOT on my "post baby lose this weight so something other than maternity fits" plan (yes, she just turned 1. Hush your mouth.) .  This was yumm-o - as Rachael Ray would say. ANNNND - I did use DIET SQUIRT. So I'm pretty sure that offsets a boat load of calories. Just sayin'.

Annnnnd. I made these. They were pretty awesome if you like peanut butter and chocolate...mmmmm hmmmm.

And then I realized I should probably quit eating. So I made something that I couldn't eat cute instead. These have been all over bloggy land - and I just had to make myself one because it fit the requirements this week 1). Fast 2). Can be finished during naptime 3).Immediate Gratification.

Since this isn't our forever house, the idea of leaving the little's growth marks on the wall makes me sad. I've seen all sorts of growth charts with dinosaurs and castles, but those weren't going to work. When I saw this, I knew. IT. WAS. MINE.

There are all sorts of perfect "tute's" on Pinterest, so I didn't take any during pictures. It's really easy, and super duper cheap. I bought an $8 whitewood board at Lowes.Though I think in my haste, I didn't do such a hot job on my lines...and may have to do it again on the back. Hmpf.

And now I will be able to take all the little marks with me, wherever we may go. Because they won't stay little for long. 

xo- Chris

Monday, January 23, 2012

Sew What?

I am not a "seamstress" - I sew, because I enjoy it. Usually. But I don't mind imperfection, and I would rather have something imperfect that I made, than perfect, that I bought. Usually.

I've been working on the boys vintage-y room for awhile, but lost momentum when I couldn't find the right kind of matching bedding. I didn't want "theme" (spiderman, dinosaur, airplane, etc) and I wanted a duvet cover. I really wanted ticking stripes, but couldn't find anything. And duvet's that were ok were insanely expensive. Since I needed 2, I was looking at well over $150 for matching duvet sets for the boys. No. Thank. You. 

Sew...I ordered some 52" wide navy/white ticking from, purchased 2 clearance full size white flat sheets from Target...and I was on my way. 

 I used a twin comforter as my guide for the width of my duvet cover - because it was wider than the ticking, I had to cut an additional strip of ticking and sew it down the side so it was as wide as the comforter. Then I sewed the white sheet onto the ticking on 3 sides and cut off the extra. I purchased a full size so I would have enough fabric, a twin wouldn't have been enough.

 Once I made my "pocket", I sewed some velcro to the top, stuffed the comforter in, and made the beds. It isn't perfect. I just cut and sewed. It's basically just a big pillowcase, but for about $30 TOTAL! I LOVE the way they came out...


Linking up to:
Between Naps on the Porch: Metamorphosis Mondays
Skip to my Lou: Made by you Monday 
Be Colorful: Motivated Monday 
The Gunny Sack: What's in the Gunny Sack? 
Making the World Cuter Monday
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia: Tuesdays Treasures

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Hello Winter and I made something from Pinterest

Winter decided to arrive, apparently over the entire Pacific Northwest. Lucky us. I can't say I really mind, I just dread the drive to and from getting the kids from school, because either way I go, there is a big, giant hill, that sort of freaks me out. 

It is so pretty - the only rotten part I guess is that my chickens refuse to come out of their coop when it snows, which means I have to go to it. Brrrr.

 On to Pinterest - I have to make school lunches for my boys because their school doesn't offer a lunch program. Really I think it's better, because I can control what goes in to fuel their bodies - but let's face it. Cold lunch gets boring really fast.

I did a quick search on Pinterest for lunch ideas for kids. Holy Schma-goley, did I find some inspiration.


It's like decorating...for food! Apparently this whole Bento thing is big - the goal is to provide a healthy lunch with the right types of food (eg protein, fiber, fruit, etc) and with no waste (no baggies to throw away, no packaging). And, alot of effort apparently goes into it to make it cute and pretty. 

I had to try one! 

I think it turned out pretty well - the boys are excited about eating it. 

While I was scouring Pinterest for Bento ideas, I came across these energy ball's. I was looking for a snack that would fill up the kids after school, and be a tasty treat. Boy did I find it. These are SOOO yummy. I had a fresh coconut that I ground up (the boys were curious about what was inside one day) but other than that, I followed the directions to a T. I have to keep myself away from them...and hide them in the fridge. ahem.

After working so hard on the office (and just before that, sewing new duvet covers for the boys beds...and stenciling the bathroom), I was ready to take a mini break and see what else I could create without a paint brush.

Have you created anything from Pinterest lately?

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Finally a pretty AHHHH-fice

I promised updated pictures this weekend, but got busy with everyone being home, soccer practice, baby turning 1, chickens ending their molting period (yay to fresh organic junk free eggs!) and maybe some laying around and watching movies with the kids. 

I talked about the office here - and, not being one to sit around daydreaming about things (I'm more of a "may as well start now, laundry/dishes/vacuuming can wait a day or two, it must be beautiful before sundown" kind of girl) I got busy as soon as Mister left on a business trip. 

I started with a real gem - 

The room is actually a great size for an office - it has a tray (? I think) ceiling so that's a little bit interesting and it has a ton of light with 2 giant windows. When we bought the house, I had a thing for dark saturated color and I painted it a dark olive green with this faux gold aged ceiling. I didn't love the green for long, but I decided that I was ok with neglecting this room, because after all, it's the office, and it's not like we all hang out in here when people are over. 

Unfortunately, those two big glass doors are right next to the front door, so, it's hard to miss the mess. And a mess it was. It was our "pile" room - because we are "pile" people. And it's where everything that didn't work somewhere else went to die.  We all do work in this room, but I would go in and get things done as quickly as possible, and LEAVE. 

This is what you see when you walk in - the glass is slightly reflective (so I kidded myself into thinking that if I ignored it, guests would too). I hated it... H A T E D it. But, priorities. Until I found out Mister was heading out of town, and I thought I would have uninterrupted time to attack. And attack I did.

I did paint the walls in the summer - Universal Khaki by SW, to get rid of that dark olive. But it wasn't enough, and since I just finished stenciling this room - there was no way I was going to stencil again ... for at least a few months. So stripes it was. Ok-ready for some after's? Those are always my favorite.

Now- this is the view when you walk in the door!

I made these letters (our initials) using giant canvases I had bought at Big Lots for $10 each (and grew tired of the picture) - I covered them in book pages and painted our letters on. I big fat pink puffy heart them.

Let's just ignore that mug ring I just now spotted, shall we? - this is real life...spots and sticky faces are just an average day around here. I thrifted the lamp from Goodwill a while back (I think this lamp singlehandedly has started my love affair with turquoise. The pencil holder I glued scrapbook paper to.

The subway sign I made out of leftover plywood in the garage and the handy dandy tracing paper method - but I had an issue with one of the paints I used, and it still isn't dry. Assuming it does dry at some point, I'm going to redo the sign because I don't like how I squished some of the words on...but, overall, it was a good first try. And it's happy on the wall, looking all cute and sassy with it's weird letters.

The chair is an Ikea "as is" piece. It was something like $49 and we bought it when we were staging our Michigan house. It tends to travel from room to room.

I made this wreath out of one of my moms old music notebooks - she passed away almost 2 years ago, and it hurts. Every. Single. Day. I just like to have pieces of her stuff around me.

There is another side to this room - hmmm. It's the bookshelves. I haven't perfected the art of making those pretty yet. And we (he) still has to hang the industrial light. So more to come, but I'm pretty happy with how some left over paint and other things you only had laying around the garage can completely transform a space. I already had the paint and tape, so the walls were F R EEEEEE!!! (has anyone else seen that pig commercial? Love it).  The table was in the garage. Chair sitting under a pile of junk already in the office. 

Please don't call an intervention over my stripes. They are upstairs in the hallway - but they are mild and calm and not this bold. And you can't see them from here. And. Well. I just love stripes. I promise to not do them anywhere else. m'kay?

Brown paint - Universal Khaki - SW
White paint - Off the shelf "Soft White" from Walmart
Ceiling - Sea Salt - SW

I hope you enjoyed the tour of the office! Come back again and stay awhile...


Linking to:

 Between Naps on the Porch - Metamorphisis Mondays

Southern Savy Style: Wow Us Wednesday

Thrifty Decor Chick: Show us your house party

Passionately Perfect: Coffee & Conversation Thursday

The 36th AVENUE

The Shabby Creek Cottage: Transformation Thursday

Rain on a Tin Roof: Give Me the Goods Monday

Friday, January 13, 2012

Sneak Peak

I've got to get my behind in gear before naptime is over (it really is amazing how much can be completed during naptime!!) - but I thought I would give you a sneak peak of the office.. It's coming along, unfortunately, next is the really hard part. Organizing, getting a new desk in here and all of the computer pieces moved onto that, cleaning, decorating...moving the treadmill. 
Here is what I am looking at this morning (complete disaster carefully edited out!):

Mister is out of town until late tonight doing some state congressional meetings who knows what - I have to get it done before he gets best takeovers makeovers happen this way :) More pics tomorrow - I hope you have a super weekend!


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Thrifty Finds !

First - I want to say thank  you to those who have joined me in the past couple of weeks. I may not have 18,000 followers, but I do have 18. It's so exciting to have 18 new friends. People that liked what I was doing enough to follow. Thank you so much!  

Alright, I've been working on the office design in my head. I love a thrifty find so I went out last weekend to see if I could find a chair that could be made over...and didn't find any. I had also been eyeballing lights online and thought this style would be the perfect touch of Industrial:

Lowes - $118
  And then, (it always happens that you find something else you are looking for) - look what I scored hiding at Goodwill:

I know! Pretty much identical, with a cool industrial bottom - and bonus! A working Edison lightbulb. Did you look really close at the price tag? $8.99. Oh yeah!

I also found a cool metal bin for storing office-ey things - it will find a home in there too. It was at an antique shop, so a little pricier at $15, but it is pretty cool.


Have you found any really exciting things thrifting that you were actually looking for lately?
I'm working on the office today and tomorrow and hope to have some progress pictures up this weekend. Stay tuned for some fun before and after's! 

Thanks for stopping by! 


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tips for living: Carpet Cleaning

I have decided to put tips I learn along the way into this category, so tomorrow next year, when I can't remember what I used to do, I have a place to go, and remember again. Sad. True. 

Alright friends, in this post, we'll be keeping it real. No staged pictures with perfect lighting here. But you won't be sorry.

I came across the Most Amazing carpet cleaning tip yesterday that I must share.  Unfortunately, I have to keep digging to find the source, because someone (Mister) closed all of my open tabs I was getting ready to link over. In the meantime, I will share the awesomeness. 

Tools you need to clean stubborn stains:
Spray Bottle
White Towels

Mix 1 part ammonia to 1 part water in spray bottle. (Note: Be careful with ammonia fumes when mixing and steaming, stay out of the steam and try not to inhale. Wear a mask and goggles if you are sensitive). Also, you may want to test this somewhere not obvious. I have cheapo builder carpet, and it didn't hurt my el-cheapo carpet at all.


Find Stain(s):
In this case, a GIANT red and brown dog throw up spot (remember, we are keeping it real) in the front living room, right in front of the couch...(why don't they ever do that on the tile?). We cleaned and cleaned and cleaned. It was still there. 
Iron and mixture

Stain - sprayed heavily
Put white towel on stain, iron with steam setting

Stain is absorbed into towel (double ew)
Not perfect in this case, red is HARD to get out. But WAAAY better

So, understanding red dog throw up spots are almost impossible to get out, I decided that dishes could wait, and I went searching for spots. Next stop, my bedroom. Some Crystal Light fell off the nightstand and spilled on the carpet. Again, red spots - GONE! 

        Before                       After

I'm getting excited now - I remembered a strange spot in the boys room. It's hard, like a shell. I've chipped away at it, I've soaked it. I have NO idea what it is, but no one would take the blame, and it wasn't going anywhere. This was the real test - Completely GONE!

   Before                                                         After

 I carried on this way for about an hour. I cleaned every spot I could find. This will keep my sanity in check until I can have the carpets ripped out carpets professionally cleaned again. 

Try it on some stubborn spots in your house! I hope I didn't gross you out and you come back and visit again!


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Laundry Room: Before & After

I was really excited when we bought this house because it had a real laundry room. In most of our past houses, it was just a creepy corner in the basement. I had visions of perfectly folded laundry and a pretty little decorated space where I would want to go and do my least favorite chore. I don't mind actually putting the laundry in to get clean. But. I HATE folding and even more, putting away. Ick.

When we moved in, it didn't take too much time for me to paint the laundry room an Oops color...(that hasn't worked out so well for me) that I immediately hated, but finished painting anyway. And because I didn't like always looked like this. Obviously it didn't turn out as planned...


Nice, right? Aren't you jealous? The real bonus here is that you can see it from the bottom of the stairs. I couldn't take it any more once the baby was born because I was in there a whole lot doing diapers and buckets of baby clothes.

I originally bought Turquoise Mist (Benjamin Moore) for the baby's room ceiling, but didn't care for it with the pink. I didn't want it to go to waste and I thought it would lighten up the laundry room and make it fresh and clean. I think it worked out well.

BEFORE                                                          AFTER

I love the difference the paint made (ok, and taking out all of the hoard helped too). Here are the details on the "goods" if you are interested.

Paint: Turquoise Mist (BM) - Mixed at Wally-weird (as my friend Amy calls it) $15
Black and White striped rug - Big Lots $10
Baskets - Big Lots $12/ea
Sign - Already had
Mirror - Goodwill $4
Board & Batten - done by me (hooks from local craft store) ~$40 for all
Jars and painting - Already had
Shelf unit (not pretty, but functional)- $20 Craigslist
Lamp - Big Lots $40 (expensive for me, but I wanted the shade)

Just over $100. Thrifty and beautiful. Yay!I hope you love it as much as I do. Now...if you will excuse me. I have some laundry to do. 

xo - Chris

Linking up to:
C.R.A.F.T Making Mondays Marvelous 
Rain on a Tin Roof: Give me the goods Monday 
Be Betsy: Brag about it Tuesday 


The Southern Institute