Wednesday, September 30, 2009

for mommy dearest

my mom requested advice on decorating after a recent (and amazing, i might add) remodel to her front room. my dad built a bookshelf with pillars that reach the ceiling. she is looking to put something on her bookshelf that has the following features: (1) is visually appealing from each side of the bookcase, (2) something that isn't tall, so the view from the living room to the dining room will not be obstructed, (3) doesn't have books, since books are already displayed on the shelves.
my mind immediate went to tall objects, such as vases, candle pillars, and lamps, but this wouldn't match the criteria. so here is my thoughts, mom. too much decor will make the piece look busy, and will distract from the new piece, which really is the focal point. you want something simple that will compliment the bookcase. my idea is to find an oblong bowl/platter/tray that is white or silver. then find decorative balls that will match the decor in your room, and place them in the bowl. here are some pictures for inspiration. the 1st picture, look at the piece that is on the bottom part of the coffee table. i personally prefer the rounder oblong shape similar to the last image over the rectangular shaped bowls/platters/trays... but whatever you like best. it's been a while since you asked too, so maybe you've already thought of something.


i've been even more inspired by "chickie designs". between the dressers and this chair, i am really pumped about beautifying some ugly pieces of furniture. i think i will hit up the local D.I. today and see if i can find something cheap and unappealing to the eye. both projects seem like they would be incredibly easy. besides there is a corner in my living room that is calling for attention, and i think a buffet table and chair would look fantastic. i hope i find something. please tell me i am not the only one who sees this and wants to change the life of a poor ugly chair? love love love it!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

one mans trash is another mans treasure

i have been inspired by this girl over at "chickie designs". she finds old dressers on Craigslist, at D.I., garage sales, etc for $10-$15 and paints them black and replaces the hardware for $1-$2/knob. the end result is a cute updated piece of furniture for under $30. i would love to do this in white. i don't know that i am brave enough to do a project like this with a 2 year old wanting to help, but maybe i will work up the courage. think how many pieces you could add to your house- dressers, nightstands, buffets, tv consoles! so, here is a secret, not mine, but worthy of sharing.

Monday, September 28, 2009

fall foliage

**sorry for the few days of slacking! i just came from southern california... warm beaches, hot sun, bathing suits and sunscreen.... and i'm back to to crisp mountain utah air! fall is HERE!**

in the next couple weeks as the leaves are changing colors, i am going to take my little boy and collect some leaves. we are going to do a fun project for him (post coming soon), and we'll find even more leaves, branches to be exact, to do this project for me. not much to the project, just some pretty arranging, but i love the outcome.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

table centerpieces

i am feeling the need for some table centerpiece inspiration. i still am unsure what i plan to do on my kitchen table, but i have been inspired by the following ideas. create a candlelight centerpiece by securing dried vegetables to a variety of different sized candles, with a simple ribbon. displaying it on a white oblong platter would be pretty. i am also loving the floral arrangements that have citrus in the vase. it is stunning. since flowers don't last very long, the acorn branches are a better option for me. and finally, i always can find cute ways to use gourds.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

family activities to do in fall

as a stay-at-home mom, i know that some of the best activities are those that get you OUT of the home. from my family to yours, here are some of our favorite activities to participate in during the fall season.

1. hay ride: our family enjoys going to the farm and taking a hayride out to the pumpkin patch.

2. corn maze: take the family to the corn maze and see if you can find your way through the maze without any corn maze helping hints. another fun way to enjoy the corn maze is to split the family into 2 groups and race to see who can get out of the maze first.

3. haunted house: get "spooked" at a haunted house!

4. make caramel apples: after picking fresh apples at the orchard, take them home and make scrumptious caramel apples. i like to make extras and give them away to friends and neighbors.

5. pick apples at the orchards: take your family to an apple orchard and pick fresh apples. i love implementing as much "outdoor" activities as possible before the snow comes in.

6. pumpkin patch: let every family member pick out their own pumpkin. kids always want to find the biggest pumpkin they can, so the general rule around here is "if you can carry it out, you can pick it"

7. stuff a scarecrow: let the kids contribute to the halloween decor this year, and stuff a scarecrow.

8. host a halloween party: invite family, friends, and neighbors over for a party. whether it's a costume party, or a dinner party, celebrate the season with those you love.

9. serve dinner in mini pumpkins: serve your favorite chili or dinner casserole in these pumpkin gourds. the kids will LOVE it.

10. roast pumpkin seeds: an easy activity to do with kids, and a yummy treat to enjoy after.

11. fall foliage: take a drive up the canyon (or a walk) and admire all of the beautiful fall colors. it is the perfect time to take the camera out and get some great outdoor shots of the family.

12. rake the leaves and play in them: every child has fond memories of raking the leaves into one big pile and then jumping in. create some memories for your little ones.

13. "BOO" your neighbors: find a cute "BOO" poem online and attach it to some treats. wait until dark and then leave it on their porch. the poem tells the neighbors to spread the cheer to 2 more neighbors.

Monday, September 21, 2009

fall wreath

what you need:
foam wreath
hot glue & spray adhesive
about 20 small plastic pumpkin gourds
satin black ribbon

what you do:
DAY 1- place your foam wreath on a flat surface, and secure plastic gourds to the wreath with hot glue. allow the glue to dry and the gourds to settle over night.
DAY 2- using spray adhesive (or hot glue) place moss around the gourds and any visible foam. let dry overnight.
DAY 3- attach a satin black ribbon, and display!

another option:
you can also leave out the ribbon and place it on your table as part of your centerpiece. a vase or platter would fit perfectly in the middle.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

very easy pumpkin cookies

not feeling the fancy pumpkin trifle recipe? try this. it will stay in your recipe box for years...
three ingredients, no joke:

1 box spice cake mix
1 small can pumpkin
1 package chocolate chips

Mix until combined. Place 1-2 tsp spoonfuls on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 14-16 min.

thanks to my sister-in-law, jen, who gave me this fantastic recipe.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

fall accessories

a simple and easy way to add some festivity to your family room, is by adding some simple accessories like accent pillows and a throw. choosing oranges, browns, and reds will tie in the fall season with the existing fall decor throughout your home.

Friday, September 18, 2009

nursing cover

I love the new nursing covers that women are using now-a-days. The ease and privacy of nursing your baby without worrying about your blanket falling, or your baby pulling it free is peace of mind to any new mother! I couldn't believe when I saw one in a local boutique for nearly $50! Most women would say it is worth the investment, but I say, why not make an alternative version for cheaper? This is how you can make a nursing cover with items you already have around the home. I plan on making the blanket and the apron straps myself. Wouldn't this be a darling gift idea for an expecting mother?
Step 1

The top part of a nursing cover looks like an apron, so it comes in handy when you are trying to make a nursing cover. Use your scissors to cut off the apron strap.


Find a baby blanket that you are not planning on using. It should be wide enough to cover the baby and your chest. A baby blanket made out of 100% cotton will be the right type of blanket to use because it will keep your baby cool in warmer weather.


Place the blanket on a flat surface and sew the two buttons in to the middle of the blanket about eight inches apart from each other. Cut a small slit on each end of the apron strap that is large enough for the buttons.

Step 4

Attach the strap to blanket and out it on just like you would an apron. Enjoy nursing your baby in public without having to hold up a blanket!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

little girl's tutu's

i made these cute tutu's last year during the christmas season. this past weekend i was with some friends at a boutique and we saw halloween tutu's. they suggested i pass along the tutu instructions for all the mom's out there. these are the easiest things to make. if you can tie a knot, you can make a tutu. this would be a darling addition to your little girl's costume- whether she is a ballerina, a princess, or even a witch!

All you need is some elastic, scissors, and a 6-inch roll of tulle (my roll had 65 yards).

1. Use your sewing machine to sew a 1-inch band of elastic into a circle. Then put your sewing machine away, that is the only sewing you have to do. No joke.
2. Cut the tulle into 21 inch strips until it is gone. (21 inches makes a shorter tutu - a great length for 3yrs and under. If you are making it for an older child I would do 23-24 inch strips.)
3. I put the elastic band around my thigh, and then I take a strip of the cut tulle and place it under the elastic so that there is an equal amount on each side of the elastic. Then I tie a double knot.
4. Then continue to tie each strip of tulle, keeping them close together until you have a full tutu. (You can do multi-colored, I did some cute two-colored ones, like the 1st picture. If you want, on the last tie, you can string satin ribbon through the knot and make a cute little bow to top it off.)

I buy the roll of tulle from WalMart in the wedding section near the floral. It is $5.95 and makes 2 tutu's. The total project time to make a tutu is about 20 minutes.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

kids framed art

when i was pregnant with my little boy, my mom and i began the exciting chore of creating a nursery. we picked out the perfect furniture, adorable bedding, and all the nick-knacks needed for my wee one. we felt that we needed some type of art on the wall. while we were at our local TARGET i began looking at the art. simple kids art was $29.99, and i was looking for 4-5 pieces. me, being the cheap-o i am thought that was way too much. so mom and i came up with a cheaper solution that turned out darling.

this is what we bought:
1. 8x8 white frames at IKEA ($7/frame)
2. 1 package of receiving blankets that matched the crib bedding ($9.99 for 4 blankets)
3. wooden emblems from michaels/roberts craft store ($0.50/pc)
TOTAL COST: Less than $10 per piece

this is what we did:
1. we cut the fabric of the receiving blankets to match the size of the frame, and hot glued it to the backing of the frame to create a background.
2. then we hot glued our emblem to the center of the fabric
3. we reassembled the frames, and hung them on the wall

why this is so cool:
if i had bought the more expensive TARGET art it would no longer be usable if the next baby was a different gender or when my child grew out of his nursery. with the art we created, i can simply remove the fabric and re-design new art work for the next baby's nursery. or as my child grows, his art pieces can grow with him.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

decorating with things around the house

decorating for fall doesn't need to cost a lot of money, and you can make some really darling decor with simple things you already have around the house. pull out your cake stand, and place a pumpkin on top. i am a huge fan on painting pumpkins white! i think it looks very chic. i think the reason i love both ideas in this post is because you aren't just setting out your pumpkins, you are showcasing them.

the next idea i have is one i plan on implementing around my home, and it too can be done simply by using existing items from around your home. for example, many of us have candles around the home. simply remove your candles from the candle pillars, and replace it with a pumpkin. although i am dying to, i am making myself wait to put out my decor until october 1st. i will probably use the real mini pumpkins, but these were the only pumpkins not packed away in storage.

Monday, September 14, 2009

baby flash cards

(please excuse the unusually long post today!) while i was working with my child on talking i created these great flash cards. they were a hit with my child, and a success. i simply printed these 4x6 cards at my local photo store just like i would have my pictures developed. knowing that i could print new cards at any time helped me to allow him to truly "explore" the cards and not freak out when they got bent up or chewed on. to make these cards your own, simply save them to your computer and have them printed at your local photo store. i used kennys photo because i could upload them to their store directly from my home.