Life Love Larson: August 2013


Friday, August 30, 2013

Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Soup

So sorry to have been MIA again this week!  Creating, decorating, and blogging have taken a backseat to practices, paperwork, PTO meetings, trying to get back in a gym routine, soaking up our last pool days, and trying to get our schedules organized around here!  Kate starts preschool next week, so I hope to have a little more time to get back to blogging!
Drew has soccer and football practice each week, right at dinner time, so I decided to bust out the crockpot this week.  Every time I use it I question why I don’t use it more!  I am hoping to try a bunch of new crockpot recipes on these practice days. 
I found a recipe on Pinterest for Chicken Enchilada Soup and thought it sounded easy and delicious.  Soup seems like an odd choice when it’s 100 degrees outside, but let’s be honest, Mexican is good any time of the year, at any temp!
chicken enchilada soup 1

Monday, August 26, 2013

Past “School” Related Posts

Sorry I have been out of touch for the past week!  Steve’s mom visited for a few days, and then my parents were here for a few days right afterwards.  We played, bowled, fished, shopped, had Drew’s birthday party, celebrated Drew’s actual birthday, and swam at the pool.  There was no time for blogging or even having my computer open!

As I now work to start crossing things off my looooooong to-do list, here are a few past posts of mine that relate to “school”, since it seems that is what is on everyone’s minds these days!


I made these cupcakes for Kate’s preschool class a few years ago and they were such a hit!  Super easy and super cute!

                                                                // Apple Cupcakes //

I made this DIY fabric embellishment for Kate’s backpack last year, and it has held up so well, she will be wearing again this year!                                               

                                                  // Backpack Embellishment //


I recently posted about these K-12 school file folders that I made for each of the kids.  I am so happy to be organized for when report cards, school pictures, and other mementos start pouring in!

                                                           // School File Folders //

school file folders 3

This inexpensive artwork display is one of my favorite things in our whole house!  I can’t wait for new artwork from pre-k and kindergarten to adorn these walls!

                                                       //  Kid’s Artwork Display //

kids artwork display 1

This growth chart is also hanging in our mudroom and I just measured Drew on it for his 6th birthday.  This is another DIY that was inexpensive and easy to make, and I know we will cherish it even when our kids are grown and out of the house!  I love the ruler look…natural and classic and useful!

                                                            // Growth Chart //


Nothing screams “school” more than a chalk wall!  I painted a tall/narrow wall between the mudroom and kitchen in chalk paint, and it is the number one thing people comment on in my house.  For minimal effort, a chalk wall makes a big impact! 

                                                       // Chalkboard Wall //


I also wanted to send a huge thank you to four blogs for featuring my Framed Wrapping Paper post this past week!

Roadkill Rescue  //   DIY by Design  //   Someday Crafts  //   Green Willow Pond 

If you are new here, welcome!  If you have been reading for awhile, thank you! 

Facebook  //  Pinterest  //  Instagram

Thursday, August 15, 2013


Today was the day that Drew (my oldest) started Kindergarten.  He is only going half day (3 hours), but there’s something about being up at “big school” and entering actual Kindergarten, that has been making my lip quiver this week.  As for Drew?  No lip quivering going on.  Just sheer excitement and curiosity and readiness.  In this moment, I am thankful for his confidence and his ability to befriend anyone.  I am thankful for the joy and simplicity he has brought to our lives.  My heart is full of love for this guy.  I didn’t cry at drop-off this morning, but the tears are flowing now (I’m afraid it’s about to get sappy)!

drew 1

In a quiet moment with Drew yesterday morning, the past six years at home with him flashed before my eyes.  Did I enjoy these years at home enough?  Was I grateful to be home in those not-so-fun moments of parenting?  Have I prepared him for all that is to come?  Have I raised a confident and well mannered child?  Is he ready to tackle what is put in front of him?The truth is, I am so proud of the little boy Drew has become.  I would wish a boy like Drew upon everyone :).


Once he found his seat and saw me sort of lingering by the door in the classroom, he gave me the look like “I’ve got this, mom”, and that was my cue. 


I stole one last kiss, and in that moment I did not feel sadness, just a rush of energy as I realized we had made it.  Only to Kindergarten, I know, but what a milestone in a child’s (and parent’s) life.  Those long days of tantrums, and diaper bags, and potty training, and just one more PB&J, (and in our case, moving so much), seem like the very distant past.  I would do them all over again, but today, we are only looking forward…


I am grateful everyday for the gift of time that I have been given to share with this crazy kid.  I cannot wait to see what lies ahead for him.  Drew is loveable and innocent, sweet and empathetic, smart and curious, and a stand up big brother.


Although easy to forget, this couldn’t be more true.  It’s ringing loud and clear today.


Thanks for letting me get a little personal today.  I know I will be thankful to have this post one day!  You can catch me right back here at this time next year, as I prepare myself to do this all over again with Kate.  So many wonderful things about having kids close in age, but back to back grades is not one of them!!  xoxo

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins

I made us some homemade chocolate chip zucchini muffins this week, and they were really good!  Hidden veggies are a bonus!  At my kid’s age, it’s not really “hiding” anymore, but they ate the green stuff anyway!
choc chip zucchini muffins 1

Monday, August 12, 2013

Framed Wrapping Paper

I like to frame things that aren’t “supposed” to go in frames.  It is such an inexpensive way to create art in your home.  I found a roll of wrapping paper on sale at Crate and Barrel back in January, and knew it would create some drama if I framed it in a large frame for our dining room gallery wall.

framed wrapping paper 1

This dining room is still a work in progress (every room is), and the gallery is not complete, but we are getting there.  Here is a shot of the wrapping paper that I found.


I loved the bold pattern and the black and white and it was such a great price!  I bought this way back in January, as part of a winter/Christmas close out, so you might check C & B again this winter for new patterns.  Homegoods also has some really great wrapping paper if you are looking for some!


My sister gave me a huge frame that she wasn’t using, and thought it would be perfect for this project.  The frame was wood, but I decided to give it a little Rub n’ Buff treatment with my finger.  Easiest stuff to use, and it always looks great.  Just tape off the edges, and start applying.



I trimmed up the wrapping paper and taped it to the back of the mat with masking tape.  I tried to get it as straight as possible.

framed wrapping paper 2

I know the curtains are bold, and this is also a very bold pattern, but the room is really pretty neutral, and I didn’t want it to become boring.  I love the way the large white mat looks against the Urbane Bronze niche. 

framed wrapping paper 3

More to come on the dining room after I finish styling the bar cart and finish up the gallery wall.  I’m so happy to finally have a dining room that actually looks like a dining room (and not a toy room or a dog room)…it’s only taken 4 house to get here :)!  xo

Linking up with:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Painted Trim Around Back Door

Truth be told, our house is pretty new, we are the first inhabitants, and we got to pick a lot of the colors/finishes.  That being said, there are not a lot of large projects that happen around here.  So……. I take great pleasure in tweaking the small things to make our home more “us”.  It’s all in the details for me.

When I painted our back patio door black recently, it just wasn’t packing the punch that I wanted it to.  The door is mostly glass, so the small amount of black on the door just wasn’t doing much.  I decided to go ahead and paint the trim surrounding the door to make it look more dramatic.  And it worked.  Here is a before and after.

back door trim 1back door trim 2













Amazing how a 30 minute project can change the look entirely! 

back door trim 4

I like how the bold black on the door breaks up all the brown on the house, but still coordinates with our grey/black patio furniture. 

back door trim 5

This trim paint is not life changing, but the little things sure do make me happy! 

You can see our back patio progress here.  A big thank you to House of Hepworths for featuring my Painted Ourdoor Rug!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

New Living Room Rug

I am absolutely in love with our new living room rug!  It is from a familiar place….COSTCO!  Yes, Costco!  My sister was doing some major research on large rugs for her move to Singapore, and she ended up going with this shag rug from Costco (to ship with their stuff).  The price was right, the size was right, and it is beyond plush and soft.  The perfect rug for a high traffic area.

We also ended up purchasing the rug for our home (this is what sisters of our kind do)!  We already had a cheap, cream shag rug (from Home Depot) in the space, but it needed to be replaced.  We knew we wanted to keep the rug in the space very neutral, because there is a lot of color and pattern going on everywhere else.  We also have dark hardwoods and dark leather furniture that aren’t going anywhere, so we wanted to keep the rug light and bright.

living room rug 1

This is not a rug that is meant to stand out or provide any “wow” factor in our home, but we needed a soft place to break up all the dark hardwood.  I’m telling you, this rug is so plush and deep, your feet just sink into it. 

living room rug 2

The rug is well made and the underside is soft so it will not scratch your floors.  Such a great looking rug for the price!


Here are some inspiration rooms with white shag rugs.  When done in the right space, they can be great!  These work in colorful, fun spaces, as well as very neutral and crisp spaces. They also work with light wood flooring, as well as dark hardwood.  Such a versatile piece!

love fabric, color and combo of all colors in room. shag rug too :)


grey sofa, white chairs, white shag rug, gold accents


beautiful white walls, white sofa and chairs and shag rug


white and warm wood with shag rug


This rug sells for $299 at regular price, but they had it on sale for $249 when we bought ours.  There is also a smaller version, which sells for about $150.  Just remember that good finds can be found in unusual places so always be on the lookout!  Excuse me while I go roll around on our new rug!  :)

You can also see how I transformed anther Costco rug here.

Monday, August 5, 2013

K-12 School File Folders

I have seen so many school organizational folders floating around on Pinterest and knew I wanted to make one for each of my kids.  My oldest is starting Kindergarten in a few weeks (eek!), which was the perfect motivation to get this project completed!
school file folders 3