Life Love Larson: October 2013


Thursday, October 31, 2013

New Hardwoods & Stair Carpet

Today is the start of a fun install in our home! We decided to hire someone to install hardwood floors in our upstairs hallway and stair landing. After the floors are installed/sanded/stained/sealed, they will come back through and finish off with a stair carpet runner on the stairs.

This is something we debated doing before we moved in.  At that time, things kept adding up, so we decided to hold off and change it down the road. Well, today is down the road and I am so excited!  Please excuse the terrible iPhone photos in bad lighting, but you get the idea!

The hardwoods are going to be the exact same wood (rustic maple) and stain as the downstairs.  I debated going a little lighter since dark hardwoods show EVERYTHING, but ultimately decided to just keep it cohesive.

I think this landing will look so much better with a dark floor to break up the light wall color and the light trim.  The huge mirror helps to bounce light around since our stairwell interior, with no windows.

The wood and railings will remain the same. The carpet we chose is light in color, very durable, and has a slight diamond pattern to it. Once it is installed, I will have more pictures.

This is a shot of our upstairs hallway, which will be all hardwoods. Can you believe we have lived here for almost two years and not one thing has been hung in this hallway?! Once the floors are done, I am going to do some touch up painting and get to work on it! Again, I think the white trim and doors will look a million times better with a dark hardwood floor below.

I like to DIY small projects, but this is best left to the professionals! We decided to get two quotes for this project, and ultimately decided to go with the company our builder uses for new homes, and who installed our floors downstairs, which we have been extremely happy with.  

Today is the carpet rip out and installation, Friday is sanding and staining, and first two coats of sealer. Saturday is the final coat of sealer. The first two coats will be water based, and the third will be a hard coating oil based seal for maximum durability.

I see lots of sock sliding kids in my near future! The next debate will be to add a runner or leave it open?? Thoughts??  

Oh, and Happy Halloween! It has been raining here for three straight days, which I think is a requirement on Halloween if you live in the midwest. Let me know if you encounter any Red Power Ranger or Ladybug sightings!  xo
Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Look for Less Design Challenge: CB2 Knock-Off Peace Wreath

When I was asked to participate in a "Look for Less" Design Challenge, I jumped at the chance, as this is right up my alley!  I thought about doing several different projects just for the sake of doing them, but ultimately wanted to make something that I could use in my own home, that other people could easily recreate, and something I really loved.  I wanted to do something fun and modern.  I found this peace wreath in the new CB2 catalog and knew it was the perfect time for me to get a jumpstart on a holiday DIY! 

The CB2 Inner Peace Wreath (Novogratz Collection) retails for $49 + shipping.  I made mine for just under $13. It's huge, and I love it!

I love the simplicity and the modern/rustic feel.  This is so easy to make, anyone can do it!

Here is the wreath styled in our dining room niche.  When I actually decorate for the holidays, it will probably find a new home outdoors, but for now, inside will have to do! This wreath is very large, 36" in diameter, so it really makes a statement!

This wreath is large, but easily hangs by a nail (or Command Strip).

I simply purchased a large, round grapevine wreath (with coupon it was $10), some cheap twigs from an ugly piece from a thrift store (2.50) that I deconstructed, and a strand of Christmas lights I already had on hand. The inspiration wreath had a diameter of 36", and I was able to find one that large at both Michael's & Hobby Lobby.

I trimmed up the grapevine wreath with my garden shears to remove any loose pieces or sticks that were sticking out, etc.  I wanted the wreath to look very round and sort of compact. I used floral wire to tighten up the edges around the wreath.

I then deconstructed an ugly thrift store piece to acquire my long sticks for the center of the peace sign. They happened to be just a bit longer than I needed so I cut them all down to size. I also trimmed any wayward branches. These old pieces are easily found at thrift stores, or you can purchase bunches of sticks at craft stores (or gather some from your yard)!

I then used some of the leftover shorter twigs, as well as twigs I pulled from the actual grapevine wreath to get the two shorter sides of peace sign. I made two even stacks and cut them down to the the same length.

Once I had my three bundles, I secured each of them together with fishing wire to keep them nice and tight.

I then started placing (eyeballed) the bundles where I wanted them and secured those to the grapevine with fishing wire. I also stuck some of the twigs in between the grapevine sticks for extra security. You will just need to play around with this part until you get the peace sign looking straight and secured. You will not see the fishing wire once the strand of lights goes on, so secure as much as you need!

Once I felt the peace sign was secure, I wrapped a long strand of Christmas lights all around, leaving a foot or so of cord hanging at the bottom so I could plug it in. This part probably took the longest because you have to weave in and out without puncturing your hand with twigs!

I love the way it turned out and it is classic enough to use year after year.  PEACE OUT!

Be sure to check out all of the other great Design Challenge Posts by clicking on the links below!

Life on Virginia Street : Wood Bead Chandelier

Kitchen Table Art : Faux Pie Safe

We will be doing another challenge after the new year!  I hope you found something that inspired you! xo

Linking up with:,,,,, 
Monday, October 28, 2013

DIY: Look for Less Challenge & Next On My List

If you have been reading for a while, you know that I love a good deal and a good DIY project.  When I was asked to participate in a Look for Less Design Challenge, I jumped at the chance!  We were asked to find a higher priced item and recreate it for a fraction of the cost.

My DIY is holiday themed (it's never too early to start, right?)!  This Wednesday, I will have my Look for Less Challenge on the blog and links to all the other blogger's posts who participated.  I have seen photos, and there is a such a good mix of projects!

Home Coming  //  Like a Saturday

I always have a long list of DIY projects on "the list".  So many wonderful, inspiring projects, so little time!  I do try to get to at least one DIY project a week, just to keep my creative juices flowing.  I love the feeling of setting out to do something and making it happen.  We have lots of empty wall space in our home crying out for some large art.  I have been pinning lots of inspiration and am going to attempt to create some DIY art (when I can muster up the courage).  You see, I'm not an artist, but the looks I am going for look doable, I think.  We shall see.  I keep picking up and hoarding frames at thrift stores, now I just need to get started!  I will be sure to share whenever I get to trying!    

source unknown

unknown source

You can find all of these (and what else inspires me) by following me on Pinterest.  Hope you have a great week!  xo
Thursday, October 24, 2013

Using Coconut Oil to Remove Eye Makeup

I keep finding more and more reasons to love coconut oil!  I recently saw on Pinterest that it is a great eye makeup remover, so I gave it a try.  I will (and occasionally do) leave the house without makeup on, but I always, always throw on a little mascara.  Even though I love it, removing it is such a pain!

Cue the coconut oil.  Simply rub a small amount of it in a circular motion on yours eyes and start to feel/see your eye makeup coming off.  Once you look like a raccoon, use a wet wash cloth or wet cotton ball and remove all the gunk.  It works great, it's inexpensive, and your eyes will thank you for the moisturizer!

I purchased a little glass sugar jar w/ lid at Walmart (less than $3 in the kitchen section) to store the coconut oil in my bathroom.  I keep it on a little tray near my sink for easy access, along with cotton balls, Q-tips, lotions, etc.

While we are on the subject, I do have a favorite mascara that I have used forever.  I have tried so many different kinds and always come back to this one.  My absolute favorite!

What is your favorite mascara or beauty product?!  xo

Monday, October 21, 2013

Recent Happenings

It's been a while since I've posted some random pics.  Here goes!

We made it to the pumpkin patch and corn maze a few weekends ago.  We also hit up the cider mill for some apple cider donuts.  We woke up to cold temps, so we had to dig out our winter hats.  Fall fun at its finest!

My sister and her family are vacationing in Thailand (a quick 1.5 hour flight from their home in Singapore). They are having some amazing experiences! They are definitely NOT in Iowa anymore!  Miss them so much.

My mom found this great plate at Homegoods the other day, and she is bringing me one.  Perfect for my dining room gallery wall.  Only $3.99...and the gold obsession continues!

Tis the season for all things football around here including impromptu games of flag in our yard.  I love that Kate gets right in the mix with all the boys.  She is such a mix of girly and sporty, with tons of sass sprinkled in!  Lord help me!

Speaking of sass, this is what I found the other day...wonder where she got this idea??!!

The word on the street was that Ikea had fiddle leaf figs in stock.  My mom went and got one for herself and I'm still debating if I need another one or not.  These are a lot smaller than what I have, but for $12, you can't beat it.  Don't forget they are very finicky, but oh, how I LOVE them!

Jewel, our FLF, is still doing well.  I found a spot that she likes, and am trying my best not to kill her!

If you have any hard-leaf house plants, they will get dusty.  I use this product on my FLF and other indoor plants and it makes the leaves really shine.

I scored some brand new LL Bean moccasins while out thrifting the other day!  Never been worn for $3.99.  I find the most random stuff when I'm out.  You can still find them in several different colors if you need a pair. And they are on sale!

I was out thrifting in search of some inspiration for a "Look for Less" challenge that I am working on with a few other bloggers.  More to come on that next week, but here is part of what I deconstructed for the challenge.  I needed some long, cheap twigs!

Drew's school had their 10-year anniversary so they had a balloon launch at the school on 10/10.  Love this image!

I got a new computer and needed a new desktop background.  You can find this free download here if you need some gold dots in your life!

In the past few weeks, LLL has gotten seven new features!  A huge thank you to the following blogs:

Home Coming504 Main, Sumo's Sweet Stuff, Southern Savvy Style, House by Hoff (Washi Tape Spider Webs)

DIY Showoff (Framed Wrapping Paper)

DIY By Design (Painted Stripes in the Bathroom)

Hope you all have a great week!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Monster Cookies

I picked up some M&M's the other day and decided to make monster cookies.  Before checking Pinterest, I checked with my mom (my go-to for all things good), and sure enough she had an "oldie but a goodie" recipe. Flourless to boot!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Halloween Porch 2013

Our front porch came together this year with mums, pumpkins, and a few budget-friendly DIY projects.  It is so much more fun to decorate now that the kids have an interest!

Decorations are up, costumes have been decided, now we just need some candy!  Happy October!

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