Life Love Larson: January 2011


Friday, January 28, 2011

Chest of Drawers Makeover

I had my sister send me some additional pics of my niece's room. She found a great chest of drawers on Craigslist and gave it a major makeover. I love how this dresser turned out!



I love the knob and pull it more character...


I love the idea of putting a dresser or chest of drawers next to the bed in place of a nightstand. Mia has a queen size bed and a wall of closets, so this was the best space for it. Side note: upholstered headboard is from Target (online), rug is from Target, and bedding is the Brooke Collection from Pottery Barn Kids. Thanks for sharing, sis!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

"Old School" Desk

A friend recently asked me about a school desk I have in my kid's playroom, so I thought I would share its story with all of you! I stumbled across this great old desk a few months back at the Habitat for Humanity Restore. This is the same place where I found my newly painted dresser for a great price. Don't you just love a great deal??!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Cute & Crafty: My Niece's Room

I had my sis send me a few pics of my niece, Mia's (almost 3 yrs), room. She has done some cute and crafty (and inexpensive) things and I wanted to share!

I love this bow hanger she made for Mia (she also made one for Kate). She took a cheap frame from Marshall's and covered the glass part with fabric and found cute little letters at Target for .99 each. She then glued two long pieces of grosgrain ribbon to hang the bows from, and voila, a one of a kind bow hanger (okay two of a kind because Kate has one too :)! Mia is famous for her big, cute bows clipped to her adorable white/blonde hair, so she needs lots of storage!

My sister also came across this cute little wooden rocker on Craigslist for $10. I love Craig and his list! :) She painted it white and added a cute little stencil at the top (from Michael's). Of course, those precious little owls are from Pottery Barn Kids. Love!

Lastly, she took a large blank wall and added some framed scrapbook paper and inexpensive wooden letters. The MIA letters are from Hobby Lobby ($1.99 each), the frames are from Michael's ($4 each and the mattes are included!), and the scrapbook paper was also from Michael's (.25-1.00 each). I love how you could easily add/change out the paper, pictures, or prints as she gets older or she tires of it. So many uses for scrapbook paper, I love it!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Recent Happenings...

I donated blood today, so be nice to me if you see me! Nevermind, I'm in for the night :)... It's National Blood Donor Month so get out there and do it if you're not scared of needles! Go with a girlfriend and treat yourself to a nice big lunch afterwards!!! Total time from needle in to needle out was 4 minutes. They said I was a "good bleeder". I guess that made me unlucky after I gave birth to Kate, but lucky when I donate blood! I'm going back in 8 weeks if any local gals want to join me!

In kid news, Drew is very into being Kate's teacher right now. He is constantly quizzing her on colors, animals, etc. He has recently been carrying around a Dolphins, Whales, and Sharks book (which is for like 3rd graders), but he loves it. I think I have read it 50 times and now he knows the words, so he tries to teach the information to Kate. It is really very sweet, but Kate could really care less about the difference between a Bowhead Whale and a Grey Whale. :)

Drew can finally recognize numbers up to 10 and can recognize about 75% of the letters. He wants to talk about letters and numbers all day long (he notices license plates, store names, letters on shirts). He is a little sponge right now, soaking up any knowledge he can, evidenced by his asking me if there were cumulus clouds in the sky (I think he heard this on Franklin as it certainly wasn't from me) the other day! I hope his love for learning isn't just a phase!

Kate just seems like such a big girl lately. She loves to mimic her brother and still asks every hour on the hour when it is time to pick up Drew from preschool. I have started trying to teach her colors recently, but I think the only one she consistently knows is pink! Go figure!

This week I have been a real stickler about Kate's potty situation. She has been going on the potty for several months, and was in all underwear before her 2nd birthday. During that time, we went to Chicago and she spent 8 straight days in a pull-up which was the worst decision EVER. She sort of regressed with the pottying (100% pooping, but only about 70% peeing on the potty). I started putting her in a pull-up because I got lazy (especially because we are out and about so much). I woke up on Monday of this week and decided to change things, and no more excuses. We have gone back to full time underwear and a small reward and she is doing great! I know she is young, but I don't give her a lot of slack because I know she gets it! Thank goodness we are back on track! I am now working on painting a little stool for her so she can practice getting up and down by herself so the independence can continue!

a little sweetness...

double trouble... :)

big girl braids!

a little driveway hockey...

a little scootering (not sure if that qualifies as a word!)

a little posing...

a little cheesing...

a little ice cream eating...

Hope you are having a great weekend! Off to prep dinner: Beef Carnitas w/ homemade pico de gallo, & cream cheese and bacon wrapped jalapenos!
Friday, January 21, 2011

"I Love You, Blogs and Coffee" Print

I received the print I ordered from and I love it! It adds the perfect touch of style and whimsy to a little wall in my kitchen. I spray painted a (8 x 10) frame I already had in a crisp, glossy white. My husband even likes it, and he doesn't like either of the items in the quote! :)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

New (Old) Kitchen Table: Staining

I decided a few months ago that I was over the stain on our kitchen table and chairs (sort of an oak tone). The set was in great shape (solid wood, nice size), but it was dated looking and the top was scratched. And let's face it...I have two toddlers who smear ketchup and peanut butter all over it, so purchasing a new one didn't seem like the right idea.

Here are the before shots:

I had never stained anything before (I have since done my coffee table), but I figured if I totally screwed it up, I would be able to paint it or figure something out! Luckily, I found out that staining is really hard to screw up, so don't be scared-go for it!

You will need a sander, gloves, stain, a polyurethane, and several soft cloths (I used old cut up t-shirts).

Also, don't forget your PATIENCE! :) I say this because the actual staining takes about a minute, but you have to wait for each coat to dry before starting the next. I did 3 or 4 coats of stain, and several coats of poly. This table gets used a lot, so I wanted to make sure it was sealed really well. We ate on TV trays for a few days!

Sand away, and make sure to wipe the table clean before staining. Add a little stain to your cloth and work in the direction of the wood grain. Once the stain is on, wipe off with a different cloth. Allow time to dry and repeat until you achieve the color you want. I used Minwax's Dark Walnut stain (the darkest you can get before Ebony). Easy peasy.

After one coat:
After several coats:

After shots:

Finally, the table is stained a dark walnut! I also just found two chairs for the ends of the table (we only had 4 chairs for the table instead of 6 and I wanted something that didn't match) at the Pottery Barn Outlet. Original price: $229 per chair, marked down to $114 per chair, marked down again to $89 per chair, and that day all dining chairs were an additional 25% off. So, I got each chair for $67 and change! I'll take it!

While I am at it, we also recently replaced the lighting above the table. A big shout out to my husband for his patience with all the projects and for hanging this bad boy! This is the ugly builder grade one...

And this is the new, simple black one from Lowe's...still haven't decided...shades or no shades?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Shower Curtain Curtains

I was instantly inspired by this post at If you haven't checked out her blog, you should. Period. Everything she does is amazing. She updated a bathroom with her friend recently, and one part really stuck out for me...

Curtains over the bathtub!

image via

I have this exact same set up in my master bathroom and it is exactly what that room needed! So, in typical Andrea fashion, I got right to work on it. I found a cute curtain rod at Lowe's on sale for $8.64 and had the handy hub hang it so it could fit 63" curtains (which I didn't have at the time). Unlike Centsational Girl, I don't sew, so it was not even an option for me to hem 84" curtains like she did (maybe in my next life I will learn :). However, my quest to find cute, patterned, 63" curtains turned out to be harder than I thought...

Then, my to my luck, my mom and I were shopping at the Crate and Barrel Outlet this week and came across some cute shower curtains on sale. I mean really on sale-$6.95 each!!! So, I started to think about what shower curatins would look like on the window. Hmmmmm......

I bought two of them just because I had to try it! Shower curtains are 72", so I wasn't sure if they were going to hang down too long, but they ended up being just perfect. I decided to hang them from ring clips and put one on every space you would normally put a shower curtain ring. How easy is that for getting them equal distance apart!

Purchased 2 packages of 12 clips at Hobby Lobby for $6.99 each

These turned out exactly how I imagined, and I don't really think you can tell they are shower curtains! It was just the punch that our master bathroom needed! What do you think??

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Kate's Room: A Few Thrifty Updates

I finally decided to sell the glider that was taking up a large amount of space in Kate's room (first step in transitioning to a big girl room). We weren't really using it, so we sold it on Craigslist to a nice young couple who were due to have their first baby in less than a week! I know they will use it much more than we currently were! Love that.

I still wanted a little chair in her room simply because seating is functional and she is still in a crib (we still need a place to read before bed since we can't climb into her crib with her!).

I found this little lonely chair for $3.99. I loved the scale and thought it could be sweet for a little girl's room. A little light sanding, wiping down, 3 coats of paint (a mistinted shade of white), a little distressing, spray polycrylic, and she has a new chair for the corner of her room. I am still in search of a tiny pillow to put on it...



Kate also had some empty wall space in her room directly above the new chair, so I decided a shelf was the most funtional. I found this turquoise one for $2.99, and painted it the same color as our master bedroom (because I had some left over, of course :).
I can't get the pic to upload normally!

Then I randomly found this elephant print for $2.50 (not kidding), and this chocolate brown, polka dotted ampersand (sp?) for $1.99, which completed the space. Grand total for the 3 pieces: $7.50!

Kate already had these little paper balls hanging from her ceiling, which I love. My sister gave these to me a while back. She got 6 of them on sale for $3 (Martha Stewart brand). My neice also has them hanging in her pink room. I love that even though we live far away, the girl's both have something the same in each of their rooms! Sweet!

Monday, January 10, 2011

DIY Dessert Tray / Centerpiece

I have been wanting a little something with some height to it to put in the center my kitchen table. I came across this easy DIY project on another blog and decided to try it! I love how versitile it is. You could use this for entertaining, or for everyday. I love how she used Christmas ornaments in the tutorial, and the idea of changing it out for the season or holiday. I personally like fruit in the kitchen. Color and function. Love it!

Her project came in at $3.25, and mine came in just under at $3.00 (only because I used coffee mugs I already had)!

I found these cute black/white plates for .99 each...

Friday, January 7, 2011

Coffee Filter Wreath

I came across this coffee filter wreath via another blog a few months back, so I decided to try one for myself. It really didn't take long, it's super easy, and super affordable. How cute for a kitchen/breakfast area (especially if you LOVE coffee)! I made one for my mom when when she was here last, and she carried it home on the plane!

I went for a larger diameter, flat wreath (3.99 at Michael's, use 40% off coupon, cheap!) to make more of a statement, purchased 200 generic coffee filters at the grocery store for a a few bucks, and used a glue gun I have laying around. I finished it off with a little black grosgrain ribbon I already had, and voila!

I have also had people ask me about the yarn wreaths. You can find a tutorial here.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall...

In working on our master bedroom, I decided that we definitely needed a long, vertical mirror. Currently, I have to jump up on the bathtub to look at myself full length, so it needed to be functional and cute. You can find full length mirrors at Homegoods and Ikea for about $80-$100, and we were actually looking at this one which I found on a post at ...

Ikea Songe Mirror

Until I stumbled across this guy for $19.99. Solid wood, HEAVY, and in great shape. I like the curvature at the top, but it certainly looks very 1980ish! I knew I could make it work with a little paint :)...

So 80's! Blah!

I used a little mistint paint I already had ($1)

Taped off the edges of the mirror

The paint color is a bit charcoal grey with a little dark blue to for me!

I decided to hang it in the little nook right before you get to our bedroom door (I didn't want it hidden behind the bathroom door in our room). Now, we can see ourselves as we exit the bedroom (and the kids are having the most fun staring at themselves in the mirror)! All told, a $21 project, and best of all, no more hopping up on the bathtub!!