Life Love Larson: January 2012

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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Clever Reusable Storage

I am starting to reuse items I would normally recycle after seeing a few great tips on Pinterest.  
Tip #1:  Reuse empty coffee creamer/juice containers to hold random pantry items. 
Old juice container now holds popcorn kernels.  Old creamer container now holds chocolate chips.  So much easier than using a twist tie or ziploc bag and easy to pour!
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Tip #2:  Reuse empty tissue boxes to store plastic bags.
I now have plastic bags stored in my pantry as well as in my laundry room and they are all contained thanks to empty tissue boxes!  If you put them in one by one they are very easy to pull out!
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I have decided there will be a place for everything in the new house!
Wednesday, January 25, 2012

12 Dates For 2012

Steve and I decided not to get each other anything for Christmas this year.  We just bought a new home and we thought that was plenty gift enough for both of us!

I did want to do a little something for him, so I came up with 12 date ideas (one for each month) for 2012.  Life gets in the way, we get busy, and date nights don’t end up happening as often as they should.  This gift will keep us honest and guarantee at least 12 date days/nights this year!

I had to include a disclaimer just in case something fell through… :)
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Here are the dates I have planned…

January- Movie Night (dare we see something that doesn’t have a princess in it!)
February- Nice dinner at local restaurant (reservations already made!)
March- Dinner/Drinks/Live music at a cute local place
April- Comedy Club to see a headliner
May- Celebrate 9 years of marriage & Steve’s 33rd birthday - TBD
June- Boulevard Brewery Tour
July- Country Concert @ Power & Light
August- Sushi Dinner (would never take kids to do this & Steve’s favorite)
September- Sporting KC game (MLS Soccer)
October- Iowa Football Game Watch at Local Iowa Bar
November- Party at the Larson’s (hopefully we will have lots of friends by then!)
December- 33rd Birthday dinner for yours truly

These are not fancy dates, but they don’t include children and that’s all that matters!  I printed each month’s date out on a different shades of blue cardstock, hole punched the sides and tied a festive little plaid ribbon to keep the pages together. 

Steve loved it!  He gets to enjoy all the benefits of the date nights without having to do any of the leg work!  While babysitters and evenings out can be expensive, no value can be placed on adult time and nurturing your marriage! 

This would also be a great for a birthday, anniversary or Valentine’s Day!  Now go get planning!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Tapioca & Jello Dessert

My mom made this side dish/dessert when we were growing up, and I haven’t had it in years.  For some reason I was thinking about recently, so I made it for my own family. 

Ingredients include two boxes of tapioca pudding, 8 oz. cool whip, water, fruit, and jello flavor of your choice.  I chose strawberry because I already had some in my fridge.  My mom always made orange with mandarin oranges.

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Combine Jello, pudding, and 3 cups water in pan, bring to a full boil.  Let set.  Add thawed cool whip and fold in drained fruit.

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It takes a couple of hours in fridge to thicken and set up.

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I was thinking this would be a good dish to make if you make a “red” dinner for Valentine’s Day!  Your kids will love it!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Moving Madness

We have officially moved into our new home and out of the hotel room!  We ended up staying in the hotel for 56 days and words cannot express how thankful we are to be HOME!  I also have to mention that we are having 60 degree temps in KC-we must have brought the Texas weather with us!

Though we are happy about being home, we are far from being settled.  My sister came up for a quick visit this weekend, and we were able to get most of the kitchen stuff unpacked and I managed to find all of our bedding, but there are boxes everywhere.  Even after six major moves, certain things never get easy, like unpacking and organizing 14,000 lbs. of stuff! 

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Having a basement is the greatest thing that has happened to us in a long time!

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And a 3-car garage!

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My sister and I did manage to get all of the china unpacked.  Maybe I will actually use it this year!

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These two are so excited to be home, and Mom & Dad are excited to have them sleeping in separate beds again!

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We don’t have internet yet (my kids are chowing down a bagel so I can blog at Panera as we speak :), but hopefully it will be up and running this week.  Until then, have a great week! 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Yarn Wreaths

It seems homemade wreaths are everywhere these days.  People have entire boards on Pinterest dedicated to wreaths, and I know they are some of my most popular posts... 


I feel the same way about a homemade wreath…cute, inexpensive, and custom.  They also make great gifts.  There are a million tutorials and posts about yarn wreaths if you want to make one for yourself.  I like to keep them pretty simple, but the color combinations are endless.  Here are a few images of ones I have either made for someone, sold, or used for myself in case you need some color inspiration!

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Happy yarn wrapping!

Linking up with:
http://tatertotsandjello.blogspot.com             
Monday, January 9, 2012

“You’re A Good Mom”

I want to read more this year.  Nothing crazy, just finish a few books (which would be a few more than I read last year)!  I take my kids to the library often, and read to my children often, but I never seem to find the time to read for myself.  I want to read books about things I am interested in, and with this book, I also got a good laugh.

I just finished a hilarious book about motherhood, “You’re A Good Mom (and your kids aren’t so bad either)” by Jen Singer.  This book had me smiling, laughing, and nodding my head in agreement.  The premise of this book is to discuss the extremes of mothering (Slacker Mom and Super Mom).  Jen Singer prefers to “mother in the middle”, which is exactly what I hope I am doing!

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I think my favorite chapter titles read “If You Think You’re a Cool Mom, Your Kids Think You Are a Pushover“ and “You Didn’t Invent Motherhood”. 

We all have those “I am the worst mother in the world” moments, and this book will have you forgiving yourself!  This is a quick and easy read and will leave your smiling. 

Friday, January 6, 2012

Pendant Lights

We are a little unsure of what we chose for our pendant lights for over the island. After all, we made about 300 decisions for the house in a 3-day time span in order for the builder to complete the work in our time frame. The pendants are pretty, but they kind of just blend in and become an afterthought.

After scouring Pinterest, I continue to be drawn to these industrial looking pendants. Clean, simple, bright. I have finally gotten a white kitchen that I have always wanted and I want the lighting to be perfect. Luckily we still have time to make changes.

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I found these similar models right at the local hardware store.

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The kitchen has white (bone) cabinets, black hardware, a dark stained island, white/black granite, stainless steel appliances and sink, and a brushed nickel faucet.  I am a big fan of mixing and matching different sheens, paints, stains, fixtures, etc.  I think bringing in polished nickel pendants might give the kitchen a little “jewelry”.  Once we actually move in I will post pictures of the final decisions!