Life Love Larson: September 2012


Friday, September 28, 2012

Housekeeping & A Few Photos

A few things regarding the blog really quick…

1. A HUGE thank you to Megan at Honey We’re Home for featuring my Kid’s Artwork Display System!

2. You can get 10% off site wide @ through 10/10/12 by using the code HIGH. Free returns and exchanges! Go check out their adorable dresses!

3.  I have had some new traffic lately (thank you and please keep coming back!) and several of you have clicked on the “Home Tour” link at the top of the page.  Apologies for not having any pictures up yet!  If you know me, you know my house will never be “done”, but I have it on my to-do list to get pictures up of what is done so far!

Guess what’s coming to KC in 2014?

A certain someone is learning how to tie his shoes…


A sweet friend of mine offered to watch our kids last weekend, so Steve and I went out for sushi and drinks.  We always feel like grown ups when we go into the “city”!  :)



Soaking up the nice weather while it lasts!



Random, but how cute is this fabric I spotted at Hobby Lobby?! 


Also random, and, because we are all friends, I am going to show this hideous picture of myself!  This is what you get the day after you collide heads with a 130 pound Great Dane!  Ouch!  This was the thanks I got for bending over to pick up Samson’s throw toy at the same time he was coming in for it.  Thankfully it didn’t swell completely shut, so I could still drive!!!!  It has been about 10 different colors over the last 10 days.  No amount of make-up could cover this sucker up, so apologies if you had to endure looking at me any time over the last two weeks!  In case you were wondering, I have finally made up with our dog!  :)

black eye

Happy weekend!  We are off to go apple picking and have a picnic with some friends!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

How to Clean an Iron

We use our iron a lot.  Weekly.  We have had our iron for a few years, and it was in desperate need of a good cleaning.  I found a tutorial from Real Simple, which you can find here.

You basically make a water and baking soda paste, rub it all over the iron, wipe off with a damp cloth, clean the holes with a q-tip, fill the iron with a vinegar solution, and steam out the vinegar and water until your iron is clean.



















































The longest part of the whole thing was steaming out the vinegar solution and making sure all residue was removed from the iron.  I tested the iron out on a few old shirts before using it on Steve’s nice shirts just to make sure.  Let me know if you have had any luck trying any other methods!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Scrap Fabric & Spider Wreath

My sister and I are sort of in cahoots with decorating for Halloween this year.  If you know her, and you know me, you might find some of the same things popping up in our homes!  We both decided that we need to start doing more things now that our kids are getting a little older and can appreciate some “spooky” things around the house. 

First, I decided to whip up a festive Halloween wreath for my front door using fabric scraps, a wreath form I dug up from the basement, and a spider from Dollar Tree. This could not be any easier.


Because I already had the wreath form, the fabric scraps from this project, and the black ribbon, this wreath ended up costing me $1 (the cost of the spider).  Don’t forget to work with what you already have!


I simply wrapped scraps of fabric around the wreath and adhered them with fabric glue on the back.   I was working with stripes, so I did have to make sure the scraps where all going in the same direction.  I just eyeballed and made sure the wreath form was completely covered.  I was just wanting to “whip this up”, so I wasn’t concerned with the lines matching up or some of the ends of the fabric fraying a bit.  I love the dramatic look of the stripes. 


Once the fabric glue was dry, I secured the spider to the wreath by wrapping black thread around the body of the spider.


I love black and white, so this wreath speaks to me!  And it looks dramatic from the street!



I am not done with this door yet!  A few more creatures have graced it since I put up the wreath, so stay tuned for that!

Linking up with:

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Painted Front Door

I chose Valspar’s Woodlawn Juniper in semi gloss for my front door.  This pop of color is just what our brown house needed!  I love a painted front door.  I am sure over the course of our time here, this door will be several different colors!

front door 

Here is a short journey.  This door was originally the darkest accent color on the house, a dark mushroom color.

original door

I only tried two samples and immediately decided on Woodlawn Juniper (top).  It is bold and bright, but still saturated and rich enough, not to teal looking.


You all know I love blue, so this seemed like a natural first door color choice for me!  I love the way the black hardware and new house numbers now pop off the door.


I cleaned the door with mild soap and water and applied three coats of paint, letting each coat dry thoroughly before applying the next.  I used a small foam roller for the door and a small brush to work around the hardware.  Painting a door is so easy and so inexpensive.  I purchased a quart and have a ton of left over paint.  You will need to buy at least a quart if you want a semi gloss finish. 

front door

What do you have to lose?  It’s just a small door, not a whole house!

We have recently updated the house numbers, added a double front door mat, and painted the front door.  One more small change is happening soon and that is it for our quick porch spruce up! 

*The fall wreath shown above was a DIY from a few years ago.  It is a grapevine wreath with a strand of leaves hot glued around it.  It has held up very well and I love how it compliments the new blue door.

I just added a few Halloween touches to the porch so stay tuned!

Linking up with:

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Money Saving Mom posted her recipe for Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins, and I knew I had to try them. I am feeling fall in my bones!

This recipe makes 3 dozen muffins, which is perfect for taking to school functions, get-togethers, taking some to your neighbors, throwing in a lunch box, etc.  And they are freezer friendly!  And delicious!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins (via MSM)
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 (16 oz) can pumpkin
1 1/2 cups oil (I use a combination of unsweetened applesauce and coconut oil)
3 cups flour (I used half whole wheat, half all purpose)
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1-2 cups chocolate chips (I use mini chocolate chips)

In a large bowl, beat eggs, sugar, pumpkin and oil.  Add dry ingredients and mix well.  Fold in the chocolate chips. Bake at 400 degrees for about 15-18 minutes.

Hope you are enjoying the cooler temps and the smells of fall as much as we are!
Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tale of Two Chairs: Fabric

I really had a hard time deciding what direction to go with the fabric on my two chairs.  I knew a source of inspiration would strike me.   Then, I saw a settee that Little Green Notebook reupholstered recently and I was sold on thin, vertical, black and white stripes.  I love a stripe. I love a black and white stripe.  Classic and modern all at the same time. 

The fabric on her settee was over $40 a yard, and that was just over budget for me, so I started doing a little digging online.  Because these chairs are going to be more for looks (though I hope they will definitely be sat in), I decided I could go with something less expensive.  I decided on this Carrie Stripe from Carousel Designs.

Black and White Carrie Stripe 500x500 image

At $7.99/yard, it was in my price range, and I liked the tight stripe.  I ended up ordering 3 yards of fabric for both chairs, and had quite a bit left over.  I will make a pillow or a window covering or something with it soon.  Shipping was reasonable and the fabric arrived quickly.


I kept all of the old fabric and cushions when I took all the staples out, so I had a template when cutting the new fabric to size.  I ended up reusing all of the old insides of the chair because they were in good shape.  I started with the back of the chair, always pulling tight before stapling.  Stripes are tricky because one tug to much, and the whole surface looks “off”.  I use a heavy duty staple gun and staples that I picked up at Hobby Lobby.


Once the back side was in place, I stapled on the front piece.


The seat itself was the most difficult piece to cut and staple.  Again, the stripes were a little frustrating to keep straight and getting them around the arms and back took a lot of tugging and pulling.  Because the seat is large, I ended up pinning the old fabric to the new fabric so I could get a precise measurement when cutting.


The chairs are recovered, but I still need to trim back the excess fabric and find some black trim.  I want something really clean and easy to adhere.  The chairs are sitting in the living room waiting to be finished, so hopefully it will happen this week.  I will show more pictures of them in the room when they are completely done!


In case you missed it, you can see the other two posts about these chairs here…

The Tale of Two Chairs
The Tale of Two Chairs: Paint

Monday, September 17, 2012

DIY Camp Badge & Backyard Campout

We had talked about doing a backyard campout with some of our neighbors for several months, and we finally got around to doing it!  It was a perfect night filled with cool temps, friends, fire, hot dogs, s’mores, tent sleeping, flashlight fun, giggling, and making memories.

Pictures of the campout are below, but I first wanted to share with you these adorable little “camping badges” that my friend Kimberly made for the kids’ first campout.  She is crafty and creative and surprised the kids with these handmade badges.  I just love them and so do the kids!  These are definitely going on their bulletin boards!


Pink for the girls and blue for the boys.  How sweet are these?!  I love the handmade details.









Maybe this spring we will get a little adventurous and “rough it” outside of the neighborhood!

Friday, September 14, 2012


First of all, I have to wish my big sister a very happy 34th birthday today!!  She is so many things to me.  I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to share this crazy thing called life with her…fifteen months apart, shared a room our whole life, same college, same sorority, married the same year, kids the same age, and now we finally live just a mere 3 hours away from each other.  I think our husbands think we are nuts, but we wouldn’t have it any other way!  :)


My sister, BIL, Steve and I got to take a little day trip to Iowa City for game day recently.  We took the Templeton Rye party bus and had so much fun!  Thanks to Gma & Gpa for babysitting 4 kids (ages 5 and under) for the whole day!  We lost in a really ugly game, but what a fabulous day.  IMG_0628


Look who can ride a bike without training wheels!  At 3 years, 10 months, she will stop at nothing to keep up with big brother!IMG_0698

The weather is cooling off so we had a delightful little picnic this week…IMG_0693

I recovered my two chairs-finally!  Here is a sneak peak at the fabric and more to come on this…IMG_0593

My neighbor brought over some yummy apples from her MIL’s farm…time to make apple crisp!IMG_0701

Did you know you can put packing peanuts in the bottom of large planters to take up space?  It saves on soil, provides good drainage, and keeps the pot very light!IMG_0712

A sweet note made at preschool from brother to sister…IMG_0691

Our neighbors introduced us to the best Indian restaurant…drinks, food, atmosphere, company…love it…IMG_0561

There you go!  A little Instagram and a peak at what we have been up to.  Soccer and backyard camping for us this weekend-hope you are all enjoying the beginning of fall!