Life Love Larson: April 2013


Friday, April 26, 2013

DIY Bow Holder

I made this bow holder for a neighbor of mine who just had her second baby, and first daughter, Hannah.  I knew she already had lots of clothes/toys/books, so I decided to make her something she could use in the years to come.  My sister made one of these for my daughter several years ago, and it still hangs in her bathroom and we still love it.  Every little girl needs a bow holder!
bow hanger 2
This is super simple and very inexpensive to make.  You will need a picture frame, some ribbon, a scrap piece of fabric, a small wooden letter (I painted mine pink with craft paint), some hot glue, and of course, bows(!).  I found all of my supplies at Hobby Lobby, including the frame which was 50% off.  I chose this frame because it was already painted and it already had the hangers on the back.
You will first need to take off the back of the frame and wrap your scrap fabric around the glass.  I did not even glue the back of mine.  The burlap was thick enough that it was tight when I put it back in.  Insert the back and trim up your fabric.
Next, you are ready to adhere your wooden letter on the front of the fabric.  I hot glued the letter and eyeballed the center.
Lastly, you will need to hot glue two pieces of ribbon (equal length) to the back of the frame.
Add your bows and you are done! Once you have your supplies, this can go very quickly. I love a handmade gift, don’t you?!  I love the monogram and the storage solution too!
bow holder 1
Cost breakdown: “H” ($1), Frame ($7), Burlap (already had), Ribbon ($2), Craft paint (already had).  I also purchased a few bows to get her started.  The possibilities are endless when it comes to color combinations you could choose.  In case you missed it, click here to find out how we store our headbands!
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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Attempting to Rid Of {Dog Pee Spots}

I spent the better part of Sunday working in the yard.  The temp was pleasant and it felt good to get my hands dirty and get some things done.  Our lovable Great Dane (who passed Feb. 1st) was lovable, but boy did he do a number on our backyard.  He wasn’t a digger, and for the most part did his duties in one corner of the yard, but he would pee wherever he wanted!  He was a big dog, and he peed big.  We were left with large dead pee spots in our backyard (around 40 to be exact…I counted) that needed some attention. 


Now that we no longer have a dog, I am attempting to work on this mess.  First up, dig up all the top layer (dead grass), until you reach dirt.  If nothing else, this was a good arm/back workout for me!


I took a trip to a local grass/seed/feed store, and they hooked me up with some seed and peat moss.  Make sure you know what kind of grass you have, so you can try to match it the best you can.  Two pounds of seed and 1 cu. ft. of peat moss ran me about $14.


I spread the seed in each spot and quickly covered it with a thin layer of peat moss.  I have never used peat moss before, but I am going to start using it with all of my indoor/outdoor plants.  It is an fine, organic mixture that helps trap moisture and helps to keep the seed from blowing away and prevents weeds from blowing in.  Have I mentioned it’s windy in Kansas?!?!

Here is one of the spots with half seed and half peat moss cover.  You can see the peat moss is the texture of a fine soil.


So, I now have about 30 spots in my yard that look like this.  I still have another 10 or so to dig up.  After mulching and digging all day, my poor hands needed a break!


It is supposed to rain/storm/snow (yes, I said snow) in the next day or two so hopefully the moisture will be good for my new seed!  Anything is better than dead grass pee spots!  We debated just laying down some new sod, but everything I researched suggested planting new seed.  I will keep you posted on the progress. 

I also wanted to update you on Jewel’s progress.  She is thriving!  I guess naming her and paying attention to her is working :)!  She is sprouting new leaves almost daily and she has only dropped 2 leaves total since we got her a few months ago.  I have only watered it twice.  Yep, twice.  I have learned that 3/4 of a gallon at a time is just about perfect and then I don’t need to do anything for weeks.  I think it must get just the right amount of sun in the little corner she is in, so she will stay put!  I absolutely love the color, texture, and drama she adds to the space!



Have you been working out in your yard??  Our weather has a mind of its own, so we are getting as much done as it will allow.  I’m hoping May will give us a real dose of spring! 

Friday, April 19, 2013


Could it be?  Is that really the sun or are my eyes deceiving me?  Yes!  It’s only 30 degrees, but the sun is shining!  Another week seems to have flashed before my eyes and things are busy around here.

Little Miss started soccer.  She has been sitting on the sidelines watching Drew play for almost 3 years, and it’s finally her turn!  She loved it!  I was an athlete, so I am secretly hoping that sports are her thing :).  I would never push it on her, and at this point, dance and gymnastics seem to be her thing, but hey, she’s happy in some cletes and a jersey, so I’m happy!!


You all know I love to stroll around the hardware store.  This weather has made it difficult to even think of spring, but we’re gearing up for it.  A few of my favorite things: kiddos, spray paint, and items for the yard!


Speaking of Home Depot, how great is this stone garden stool??  Only $60!


Apparently we had one nice day in the last few weeks…we are so looking forward to summer!


I finished my first 5k in 32 minutes!  I started out thinking I would walk/run, but ended up running the whole thing.  I realize this is no huge feat, but a big deal for me, someone who isn’t a “runner”.  I finished 3rd in my age group, and 48 overall out of 220.  There are certainly no 10k’s, half marathons, or marathons in my future, but I’m glad I completed this! 


I’m working on sprucing up our back patio.  This is definitely going to be on a budget, and is going to take a little effort, but anything is better than how it looks now!  More to come on this in a full post.


If you haven’t heard about this, you must sign up!  My brother in law introduced me to it and my kids absolutely love it!  It’s Bedtime Math.  It’s free.  Once you sign up, you will get an email with a real-world, current event math story and problem every day.  They have three levels:  wee ones (my kids), little kids, and older kids.  What a great way to introduce/supplement math with your kids on a daily basis.

A huge thank you to two blogs for featuring my work this week!
Lil LunaDIY Spring Chevron Wreath
CraftionaryDIY Spring Chevron Wreath & Homemade Bubbles

I’m looking forward to a weekend of hanging out, house/yard projects, watching soccer, and hopefully enjoying more sunshine (I’m not holding my breath on that one)!  Happy weekend, friends!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

2-Ingredient Fruit Dip

The preschool teacher’s at D & K’s school are holding conferences for the next two days, so I volunteered to bring in a little something for them to snack on.  I had just bought a huge thing of strawberries at Costco, so I thought it was a good time to try a new fruit dip.

fruit dip 1

This is super simple.  You will need 8 oz. of strawberry cream cheese and 7 oz. of marshmallow creme.  Why does everything I make and share with you have cream cheese in it??!! :)

fruit dip 3 
Make sure your cream cheese is at room temperature, then whisk together with a fork.  Could this be any simpler??  The marshmallow creme gives the dip just the right amount of sweetness and texture.

fruit dip 2

I found this recipe via Pinterest.  You can find the original recipe and post here.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Master Bedroom Update

The master bedroom is coming together, slowly but surely.  You know I like to take my time, bring things home to try them, touch them, see them in the space, etc.  I think I have already brought home 3 sets of lamps and 4 throw blankets, all which have since been returned.  This is another reason I am not a huge online shopper which I’ve talked about before.  Patience is the key for me.  Find what you like, not what is convenient.  Buy new when needed and be creative with what you have when you can.  When in doubt, bring things home and try them out!  

Since we last talked about the master, curtains have been hung, a bench for the foot of the bed has been purchased, a headboard has been installed, and new hardware has been screwed into the existing furniture pieces. 

Window Treatments:  We installed the light bamboo shades a few weeks ago and I love them!  They add so much texture to this large space.  I mentioned before that I am going to reuse four Ikea panels and trim them out.  That will be one of the last things I do after everything else comes together.  Until then, at least they are hung!

master 4

The curtains are long, and I might end up hemming them, but I kind of like that they pool the ground.  I had hubs hang them to the ceiling to add height.

The curtain rods are from World Market.  They had these on sale one day when I was there, and I had an additional 10% coupon, making them very inexpensive.  I decided to go with these Wooden Ball Drapery Rods.  They are dark wood which is a good contrast to the lightness going on with the shades and drapes.  They also coordinate with the furniture we are reusing.

master 3

master 2

Bench:  I also found a bench at World Market that I fell in love with!  It’s intended to be a dining room bench, but it works equally as well as a foot of the bed bench, or a casual bench to sit on in a living room.  It was also on sale for $229 (originally $279), and I had another 10% off.  I love this bench for several reasons.  It’s long.  It almost extends the entire length of our king sized bed.  It’s tufted.  It’s neutral.  It’s classic.  It’s sits on brass casters.  It looks more expensive than it was.  It sort of reminds me of our RH dining room chairs


Headboard:  I randomly stumbled upon this next purchase last week while browsing the aisles of Tuesday Morning.  Who knew they sold large, tufted, linen, KING sized headboards in store??  With a price tag of $349, we borrowed a truck and snatched one up!  We were going to reupholster our old headboard (which was a DIY), but for this price, we thought it was a no-brainer to go ahead with this one.  I will be reusing and reupholstering our old headboard and using it in the guest bedroom (let’s be honest and say I won’t be getting to that for a while)!  This headboard attached right to our bed frame and we have been enjoying it for a few days now.  Instant texture and drama!

Things are still very random in the master, so I will show pictures in the room as more styling occurs!

master 1

Hardware:  We decided to reuse a dresser and night stand from the set we have had for 11 years.  It is dark wood, and actually is a good contrast against our very light carpet and smokey blue walls (and now light headboard).  It is one of those sets that is still sold in every furniture store across America, but nothing I would ever actually choose nowadays.  Over the years, we ditched the sleigh bed and armoire, but we very much still use the night stand and dresser and it’s in great shape even after 11 years and 6 moves!  So, in an effort to reuse what we have, we decided to purchase new brass hardware (I’m brass obsessed!).  I needed 14 of these new pulls for both pieces of furniture, and at $6 each, this update came in at about $85.  These are from Lowe’s!

Sumner Street 4-in Center-to-Center Satin Brass Minted Bar Cabinet Pull

You can find these pulls here.  Shipping was fast, and we love them!  Again, they are classic and the brass adds a little “jewelry” to the furniture. So much better than the dark, ornate pulls that were original! Dare I say I don’t even mind the furniture anymore?  Love when that happens!

Here is what the progress looks like in list form (I ♥ lists, if you don’t know by now…):
New window coverings
hang curtains
Trim curtains
New curtain rods
New bed skirt
New sheets
New bedding (a white down alternative comforter has been purchased)
Blanket/throw for end of bed
Pillows for bed
Long bench or two x-benches for foot of bed
New hardware for existing furniture
Art for above bed
Large mirror to lean against large wall (or figure something out for the wall)
New wall sconces for bed sides OR find two matching lamps
Accessorize bedside tables
Accessorize dresser and wall above it
New chair/ottoman/floor lamp for seating area
New headboard
New overhead light fixture for seating area

My heart goes out to those affected by the bombings at the Boston Marathon yesterday.  What a horrific tragedy.  I’m trying to field questions from an inquisitive 5.5 year old the best way I know how. A good reminder to always keep things in perspective and to remember what matters most in life…
Friday, April 12, 2013

Simple Spring Snack Idea

Drew’s pre-k class is studying bugs, and we were up for bringing snack this week, so I thought it was a good opportunity to make these cute Pinterest-inspired treats!

spring snack 1

Grapes on one side, mixed cereal on the other.  You could use whatever you have on hand to fill the wings.  We embellished our wooden clips with with markers, a little happy face, and some curled pipe cleaners (secured to the back with hot glue).  Most images show these snacks with googly eyes, but I already had everything on hand and didn’t want to make a trip to the store!

spring snack 2

Kind of a fun way to spruce up a snack! 


One day my kids will look back and appreciate all this cheesy stuff I do for them, right?!?!?! :)

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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Homemade Bubbles

We have been wanting to try homemade bubbles for awhile and we finally got around to it last weekend.  This is a very easy process, and the bubbles turned out perfect! 

homemade bubbles 4

You will need: 1/2 cup light corn syrup, 1 cup liquid dish soap, and 1 1/2 quarts of water

I bought the cheapest version of both ingredients (around $4 for both) and have so much leftover.  This should last us throughout the spring/summer. 

Mix water and corn syrup together, then add dish soap.  Store in a sealed container (this red one is from Dollar Tree).  The large bubble wands are also from Dollar Tree.


These bubbles are much better than the cheapo bubbles you can buy!  I don’t think we will ever go back to store bought!




Some of our bubble mix spilled onto our walkway and it left a discolored area.  Once the area dried, the spot went away.  It rained here last night, and I saw that the spot shows up when it is wet.  Just wanted to put that out there so you can be careful not to spill!

You can find the original post where I found the recipe here.

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Monday, April 8, 2013

Chevron + Burlap + Moss Spring Wreath

My very good friend, and next door neighbor, asked me if I would make her a spring wreath for her front door.  Of course, I said yes!  I am currently reusing a wreath that I made last year, so it was fun to create something new for her.  They just so happen to be an “L” family too!

This picture was taken with the wreath on my front door before I delivered it to her. My friend’s door is a dark brown, so the pink looks really pretty off of it. I’m pretty sure her door is soon to be painted though, so I will keep you posted on the color she chooses!  I know how people love a painted front door!

chevron wreath 1

I went to Hobby Lobby one morning to try and get inspired.  I found this fun chevron/burlap ribbon and thought it would be easy to wrap around a straw wreath form.  They also had lime green, grey/blue, and yellow chevron.  Simply start wrapping, overlapping a little with each wrap.  This will secure it enough that you won’t even need to use anything else to secure it.  I used a dab of hot glue at the end of the ribbon.   I used 1.5 rolls of ribbon for an 18” wreath form.


Undecided on what to embellish it with, I searched through my craft stash at home.  I found a wooden “L” and a sheet of moss from old projects and thought that would be the perfect combo.  When you use a sheet of flat moss, you can simply trace the letter onto the moss, cut, and adhere with some hot glue around the edges.  Done in no time!  Moss is also very forgiving, so if you need to fill in a little space, add some hot glue and press it down.  You will never see where you have filled it in.


After wrapping the wreath form, and getting the “L” made, it was time to assemble.  I decided to hang the wreath by a large, burlap bow.  You can purchase large rolls of burlap (that is soft and easy to tie) at Michael’s for cheap (with coupon, of course!).

chevron wreath 5


It was clear that the “L” needed to be secured to the wreath because it was a little smaller than the diameter of the wreath (and kept falling out).  I grabbed some brown raffia and looped it through a staple that was already on the back of the letter.  I then weaved and tied it up through the burlap bow.  You can see the raffia peeking through a little bit, but the “L” is secured, which is what we needed.

chevron burlap wreath 6

I love how it turned out and it looks so cute from the street!

chevron wreath 2

Happy Spring!

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Friday, April 5, 2013

Fig + Goat Cheese / Nutella + Strawberry Crostini

I’m throwing another appetizer at your this week!  I had a girl’s night the other night and wanted to take a little something.  I had some baguette that I needed to use up, so it was a perfect opportunity to make crostini.  My sister gave me the idea awhile back to make fig & goat cheese crostini and it was delicious!  I also had Nutella and strawberries on hand, so I went for a little variety.
crostini 5
These are so easy to make and they are so pretty to look at!  Cut thin slices of baguette and place on cookie sheet.  Drizzle with a little olive oil and salt and pepper (I only used olive oil and sea salt for the chocolate ones).
crostini 1
crostini 2
Place under the broiler for a few minutes, or until the bread is browned and crispy.  Once your crostini is out of the oven, you can start to assemble.  I used goat cheese with honey and fig spread for half of them and Nutella and strawberries for the other half.
crostini 3
crostini 4
Because the bread only goes in the oven for a few minutes, these come together fast.  The possibilities are endless when it comes to what you can add on top of crostini! 
crostini 5
Hope you all have a fantastic weekend!
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