Thursday, November 29, 2012

Carpet Spot Remover

I want to blog about more products that I use in everyday life.  I love when other bloggers post about products, or clothes, or deals, or makeup, or anything else they love!  I love a good recommendation!

We have very light carpet upstairs in the bedrooms.  Not white, but more of a soft cream color.  I was worried about choosing such light carpet, but I love that it keeps the house light and fresh with our light walls.  I asked the project manager on our build what he recommends for carpet spot treatments (ask the experts a lot of questions-you will be amazed at what you can find out).  He recommended Spot Shot.  You can buy it at Walmart, Target, etc.


I love this product and will never use anything else on my carpets simply because it works.  It works on fresh stains, and even old stains.  It says to leave it on to penetrate, and I usually just spray it on and wipe it away with a soft cloth, and the stain is gone!  Kate had a bloody nose just two days ago and there was blood on the carpet in her bedroom.  This worked in seconds.  Cheap and effective, it is my go-to for carpet touch ups!

Spot shot is not paying me to say this, I just wanted to share with you!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Funfetti Cake Batter Buddies

I made these fun treats for Kate’s preschool birthday celebration.  I used a recipe found at Six Sister’s Stuff.


These are so good and so festive for a birthday!  Perfect for little hands too!  I made little individual bags of buddies for each of the kids in Kate’s class.


A few ingredients and 10 minutes and you have this treat made!


Funfetti Cake Batter Buddies

5 cups Rice Chex
5 squares vanilla flavored Almond Bark
1 1/2 cups Funfetti cake mix (dry)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vegetable shortening
sprinkles (optional)

1. Melt Almond Bark and vegetable shortening in microwave.
2. Pour the cereal into a large bowl and drizzle the melted Almond Bark over the cereal.  Add sprinkles if you wish with the bark is melted. Mix gently with a large spoon or spatula.
3. Dump the cake mix and powdered sugar onto the cereal and mix gently with large spoon until all the cereal is evenly coated.

Pure sugar, but so tasty, so beware!  I have leftover Funfetti mix so I think I will try the cookies next!

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Family Fun on Facebook

A big thank you to Family Fun Magazine (on Facebook) for featuring the Fabric Backpack Embellishment I made for Kate’s backpack earlier this year.

“Like” Family Fun on Facebook to get more great ideas!

If you missed it, you can check out the post and tutorial on the fabric backpack embellishment here!


The embellishment is still on Kate’s backpack and looks as good as the day I put it on!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Happy Birthday, Kate! ♥

My youngest turns four today and she thinks she is just so big!  Excuse me while I gush and wipe away a little tear.  :)  We have loved watching Kate grow into a sweet, sassy, mature little girl.  I like to say she is 4 going on 16!


We didn’t find out the gender with either of our kids until they were born.  We were sure Kate was going to be another boy as my pregnancies were so similar and I carried the same, etc.  When our doctor held up our baby and shouted “It’s a Girl!”, we were in absolute shock.  Good shock.  Wonderful shock.  So fun to have a little girl and so fun to see Steve squirm a little bit (he only has brothers)! 

She has Steve’s heart.  She loves to snack.  She is fun loving and quick witted like her daddy.  She is smart beyond her years.  She loves playing dress up and mothering her dolls.  She loves to help mom around the house.  She cares about what she wears and how her hair is done (gasp!).  She loves gymnastics and dance and can’t wait to be a cheerleader.  Things come quickly for her (good and bad!).  She has an unbelievable bond with her brother.  She keeps us on our toes.  She has a contagious belly laugh.  She is Kate Elizabeth (aka Bunny), age 4.

image via Pinterest

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving Table

We have lived far away from our families the majority of our adult life, so we have never hosted a holiday.  Many holidays were spent just me and Steve, or the four of us after the kids were born.  Now that we live a little closer, we are hosting Steve’s family for Thanksgiving.  I cook, but I have never done a turkey and never made so many items at one time!  Wish.Me.Luck!  I have also never had a formal dining room in my adult life, so I wanted to set a nice table!


It isn’t that nice and I don’t know a thing about tablescapes, but this will have to do!   I used paper napkins and kraft paper, but, I did bust out the china! 


The table liner is kraft paper from Dollar Tree.  The silver chargers are also from Dollar Tree.  The gold candlesticks were a $10 find at an antique store in Des Moines.  The striped candles are from Homegoods.  The napkins are Ikea.  Clearly I have an affinity for stripes.

Our table is quite narrow, so I didn’t want to junk it up too much.  My sister gave me the idea to “dip” pine cones and use as place cards.


I used pinecones from my Christmas stash and painted the tips with cheap craft paint and a paint brush.  Simply cut a name card from cardstock and insert in the pinecone. 

The kids will be added to the ends of the table with large plastic bags over the chairs.  They are the exact reason I was so scared to purchase upholstered chairs!  We must, however, live in our home, so, I’m going to let it go and let the kids sit at the nice table. :)

Everyone else was asleep last night, so I enjoyed getting the china out and setting the table and doing a little crafting.


I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!  I will be signing off for a few days to enjoy all of the things I am most thankful for.  ♥

*****************************************************************************************************The JavaHook giveaway winner was Erin McG who wrote:
I love this product! Target used to have something similar that you could attach to their carts but they aren't available to use anymore. I would definitely use it everywhere I go shopping and how AWESOME that it hooks on to the car handle. With a 5 year old and 2 year old my arms are ALWAYS full and to be able to set my coffee on the door handle and look for my keys would be amazing!

Don’t forget you can still get free shipping through tonight at midnight by using the code “Andrea” by visiting the website at  A JavaHook, combined with a coffee gift card, would be such a great holiday gift!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Happy Weekend

We have a few several projects to get done this weekend around the Larson household.  The list includes:  hanging curtains in Drew’s room, recovering Drew’s upholstered headboard, getting the first coat of paint done in the guest bathroom (I went with Simply White), straightening out the garage, planning Kate’s birthday party details, getting a Thanksgiving menu in order, sifting through the Christmas decorations, and starting on a DIY tree skirt.  It sounds like the perfect weekend for this DIYer, and a not-so-perfect weekend for my handy hubby who will be enlisted to help!!

And we will definitely be squeezing in some outdoor time as we are soaking up every minute of these 60 degree temps… in November… in Kansas!!!

Don’t forget to enter the JavaHook Giveaway and take advantage of the free shipping code!  These would be such great gifts for coworkers, stocking stuffers, or for the someone who has everything.  I know you are reading, so please ENTER!!


Wishing you a happy and productive weekend!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Bright Red Chair

I am a huge fan of a pop of red in a space.  It has long been my favorite color.  My kitchen is pretty neutral, and I wanted a pop of color next to our built-in buffet.  I decided to spray paint a chair I already had sitting in my basement with the same fire engine red that I painted this frame.  The red photographs pink, but it is a true, bright and shiny red!



This is a chair I picked up at a thrift store two years ago for a couple bucks.  I have a thing with buying chairs, but I love all the things you can do with them.


I made the pillow with stitch witch (I don’t sew, remember)!  I also made a little window valance with the same fabric that I will show you soon.  This fabric comes cheap from Hobby Lobby. 

Here is the chair in the actual space.  A bright and quirky little addition.  I can’t seem to get enough color in my life lately! :)


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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Our Back Door is Black

The back door that leads to our covered patio is right off the kitchen eating area.  We have light paint, creamy white trim, and lots of windows at the back of our house.  I felt that space needed a little contrast, so I painted the interior (and exterior) door in semi gloss black.  The back door is mostly uncovered glass, so really just the trim of the door is black.  Even that small amount of black has totally changed the space! 


This space is hard to photograph, so excuse the dark pictures, but you get the idea.

Here is the way the space looked before.


And here it is with a few coats of semi gloss black.


I’m obsessed and want to paint every interior door black!  One of these days I will get around to doing my interior front door…

Don’t forget to enter the JavaHook giveaway!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

JavaHook Giveaway

I recently had the pleasure of trying out a new product, JavaHook.  This product is a simple design concept that will change the way you take your coffee on the go! 

When trying it out for the first time, I found the JavaHook to be very light weight, easy to use, and very, very convenient.  As an added bonus, the JavaHook comes in several great colors, suitable for both men and women.

The basic concept is that it “hooks” on to your coffee sleeve and then “hooks” on to other objects to help you be hands free.  There is a great video on their website,,  that shows all the ways in which the JavaHook can be used…carts, car door handles, stroller handles, a bathroom stall door, an airplane tray table, etc.

I tried the JavaHook out on a day when I had several errands to run.  I purchased my two- splenda latte, and assembled the JavaHook.  Simply remove the sleeve, attach the JavaHook, and slide the sleeve back on.  Easy, easy, easy.


I found the JavaHook easy to use because once it is attached, it is secure and does not wobble around.  You can continue to drink your coffee while the JavaHook is attached.

Here is my JavaHook on the cart at Hobby Lobby.  I was able to shop and push the cart with two hands instead of steering with one hand and trying to drink my coffee!  No spillage and it looks cute too!


The JavaHook can also hang from your car door handle in those times you need both hands to get your kids in and out of the car, or when you are fumbling around in your purse for your keys, etc.


What a wonderful little gift for anyone you know who enjoys coffee on the go.  This would be a perfect stocking stuffer too!  From one coffee lover to the next, I think this is such a simple and wonderful product! 

The best part about JavaHook is that they sell for only $4.95.  You can find out more about JavaHook, view all the colors, and watch a brief video on more ways to use this product by visiting and be sure to “like” them on Facebook at!/JavaHook.

The JavaHook team has sent me an extra JavaHook to give away to one of my readers!  I will be mailing this out to one lucky winner.  The color I have to give away is Tangerine Tango (pictured above).

1.  To enter, please leave a comment and tell me how you think you would use your JavaHook the most.

2.  I would love for you to become a follower of Life.Love.Larson, or subscribe to emails, but it is not necessary to win. 

3. The giveaway is open until midnight on Sunday, November 18th. I will randomly chose a winner next Monday. Please make sure I have a way to contact you if you should win!

The nice folks over at JavaHook are offering free shipping to all Life.Love.Larson readers until next Tuesday at midnight!  Simply enter the coupon code “Andrea” at checkout.  I think everyone knows someone who would enjoy this product!

I was given one Javahook to try and one to give away.  All opinions on this product are my own.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Thankful Tree

I knew I wanted to make a Thankful Tree when I kept seeing cute images of them on Pinterest.  The kids and I quickly pulled this together with branches (free), some scrapbook paper ($1), and some yarn (already had on hand).  Kind of a fun little reminder of all the things we have to be thankful for…and yes, toys reluctantly made the list…they insisted…


I saw an image of yarn wrapped branches in MSL Magazine, and I thought it would be a fun way to add a bit more color to our tree.


I can’t believe Thanksgiving is next week!  Does anyone else feel like their life is flashing before their eyes?!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Ten on Ten: November 2012

Take 10 pictures on the 10th of the month to capture life’s beauty in the day to day. Linking up at A Bit of Sunshine, the original inspiration!

ten on ten button

Steve is out of town this weekend, so the kids and I have just been hanging out.  We had a 70 degree day, so we made an early morning dog park visit with Samson.


Trying to decide on the perfect white to paint our downstairs bath.


I took advantage of the nice day and cut back all my flowers for winter.


A little Jersey Mike’s for lunch never hurt anyone!


This isn’t my favorite place, but it is necessary! :)


A little indoor swimming for the kids…


Mommy, “Those clouds look like mountains!”


It was a fun mail day…I love mail…


One of the more glamorous highlights of my day…cleaning the oven door!


Made tomato bacon cups to take over to a neighbors house…they were a hit!


Hope your November has been great!  Happy Veteran’s Day!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Perfect White?

After living in our house for about 10 months, I have finally gotten the itch to repaint a space.  We were able to choose two paint colors before moving in, a main color and an accent color.  The downstairs bath, the dining room, the laundry room, and the master bedroom all have the accent color, a smokey blue/grey. 

While I love this color, I am really starting to dislike it in our downstairs bath.  This is a 3/4 bath, so it serves as a main floor bathroom as well as a space for our overnight guests to shower and get ready.  The blue/grey looks dark in this bathroom because it gets zero natural light.  I want crisp and clean and bright and modern, so I am going for white.  Yep, never thought I would ever paint a space white, but I’m doing it! 


White is white, right?  WRONG!  So many whites have yellow, pink, or grey undertones.  I am looking for a true white, but nothing too sterile.  My trim color is more of a creamier white, and I do not want the white paint to blend in with the trim.


The same whites pop up when you do your research and when I asked the guy at Sherwin Williams to tell me which whites were the most popular, he pretty much circled every single white in the book!  My two favorites are Cloud White and Simply White (BM).

Once I get the room painted, I am hoping I will like this furniture piece a little better.  This is so not me or my taste, but it came with the house and it is actually a nice piece of furniture.  It provides functional storage for when we have guests come to stay, which is often. 


The wood color is all wrong for me, it is way too ornate, and it has a black granite top, which shows every single water spot. However, I am not ready to replace it or paint it at this point, so I am hoping some fresh white paint on the walls will modernize it a bit. You can see I have already tried with the black/white rug! 

I am headed out today to pick up the two white paint samples shown above.  I will keep you posted on the progress as it happens!  Also hoping to add some fresh artwork, a new rug, and possibly removing the doors on this furniture piece and skirting it with fun fabric.  Wish me luck!

Friday, November 9, 2012


I wanted to add just a few homemade Thanksgiving touches to our home this year since we are hosting my husband’s family (and the house seems quite bare after taking down the Halloween decorations).

Using free printables found on Pinterest, and with things I already had laying around, this cute little bunting now adorns our mantle.





You can find the free printables here.  I printed the letters on white cardstock and bordered them with kraft paper.  The letters are held up with twine and clothespins.  I have a lot of black and white in my house, so these letters fit right in! 

My sister also made a bunting and sent me a picture (yes, we plan ahead and usually do the same things)!  I love the two layers and how they pop off of her dark fireplace.

photo (2)

I have one other little DIY craft to show you next week, and will also be doing a little giveaway!  Have a great weekend!

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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Twelve Months of Giving Back: October

Steve’s employer started a fund to help support employee recovery from Hurricane Sandy in the New York, Long Island, New Jersey, and Southern Connecticut areas.  We have donated money to help assist fellow employees in this area recover from the devastation. 

There are several ways to donate…

The kids also decided when they went to the dentist last month that they were going to donate some of their Halloween candy.  The dentist accepts candy donations and then they ship them overseas to the troops.  My kids thought this was a really cool idea and had no issues getting rid of about half of their candy!  Win/win if you ask me!


Next month will be the last month in this series, as I started last December.  We will continue to keep donating every month, but I won’t be blogging about it.  I have to tell you it has kept me honest in getting things done.  Funny how a little blog holds me accountable for so many things!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

DIY Sunburst Mirror (made with wood shims)

I made and blogged about a DIY sunburst mirror when we lived in San Antonio (16 months ago).  At that time, I still had not hung the mirror.  I was going to hang it in our dining room that I was painting, but we got the call to move before I had the chance.  During the move, a few of the wood shims came apart and it didn’t look as fresh as when I first made it.
So……………………..I decided to take it all apart and redo it a few weeks ago.  Much like the first time around, construction of this mirror can be done during nap time (which for me has turned into “quiet time”)!
I did a few things differently this time around.  I staggered the shims more at the ends and I added a Danish Oil finish to the wood.  I did not add any more shims or a new mirror.  I simply reused the same materials and had to purchase the Danish Oil (around $8 from Lowe’s).
I hot glued the shims to the craft forms and to each other.  You can see the ends are a little more staggered than the first time around.  Once the shims were glued, I took it to the garage and added 3 coats of Danish Oil.  I wanted to keep the natural look of the wood, but I wanted it to look a little more finished and saturated.

FYI: I applied the Danish Oil with an old cloth.  Once the shims dried, I brought it back inside (this thing is huge, so be careful in transport) to add a hanging mechanism.  Steve drilled this into the larger of the two craft forms.

Once this was done, I just needed to reattach the mirror.  I was able to remove the mirror from the last time I made one, scraped the wood glue from the back, and reused it.  I used hot glue to attach the shims, but I used wood glue to attach the mirror to the shims.  Just eyeball the center, glue, and stick.  You will want to put some heavy items on the mirror and let dry overnight.
I wanted to hang this on the first floor of our house because it is just so striking, but I don’t have a lot of wall space (lots of windows and open concept).  When I painted the chalkboard wall, I took down the large cabinet door chalkboard, and that left open a space on a wall in our eating area (and I moved the $5 side table underneath it).
I just love how bold and big it is, and love how it brings a large natural element to the space.  We do not use the mirror to look at ourselves, purely decorative! 
Finally, after 16 months, we are enjoying the sunburst mirror! :)
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