Life Love Larson: November 2013


Monday, November 25, 2013

Simple & Natural Thanksgiving Table

I mentioned before that we are hosting Thanksgiving again this year. Our dining room table is a little tight with eight people, but it is cozy and I love eating in the dining room (because we never do so otherwise)!  Besides the bouquet, I already had everything on hand, so this table came together quickly!

The placemats are pieces of cut kraft paper. I purchased several rolls of this paper at Dollar Tree last year, and am using it again this year!  The silver chargers are also from Dollar Tree, but you can get these almost anywhere for cheap.

In the center of the table, I placed a piece of scrap wood from our recent hardwood install. It was already stained and was the perfect size, I just added some gold craft paint to the sides to glam it up a bit. I like how it adds a little height in the center of the table.

The gold candlesticks are from an antique store, and the striped candles are from Homegoods (from last year). I added some mercury glass candle holders (from Michael's) and a few pears to finish it off. The autumn bouquet is from Trader Joe's.

I used paper napkins, accordion folded them, and tied them up with twine. The place cards were an easy DIY watercolor project.

Super simple and natural, and I love the mix of silver and gold. There is still plenty of time to throw together a festive looking table!  Happy Thanksgiving, friends!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Watercolor & Pinecone Place Cards

We are hosting Steve's family for Thanksgiving again this year, so I starting working on the table setting yesterday. I decided to use all items that I already had on hand and as usual, wanted to keep it super simple. I will show you the finished table on Monday, but for now, I wanted to show you how I made place cards using pinecones and watercolors.

I am using paper napkins in orange, pink, and gold. I decided pinecones were an easy choice to use again this year, and added some watercolor name cards to bring out the napkin colors. I used watercolor paper and paints and used simple brush strokes to create the cards. The names are written with a gold paint pen.

This took about 5 minutes and I love the look of the watercolors. I accordion folded the napkins and tied them up with a little piece of twine.  

This is about as simple as it gets!  Now I need to get moving on grocery shopping and cleaning!  Have a wonderful weekend!  xo

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Easy DIY Shelving

I mentioned recently that we have done some rearranging of how rooms function in our home. A friend of mine inquired about the shelves we had up in the old toy room. I realized I never blogged about the shelves we installed soon after moving in. This shelving system is from Home Depot and they were easy to install, inexpensive, and worked very well in our space.

We had two sets, side by side, along a large wall of our toy room. We used the shelves for bins and smaller toys to get them up off the ground. The higher shelves displayed some of Drew's lego creations and are great for board game storage.

Having vertical storage was a huge space/floor saver! The shelves are already white, and you can customize with different sizes to fit your needs. These are not hard to install, but you must make sure everything is level so you don't have leaning shelves!

I would highly recommend these if you need any extra storage in an office, desk space (they have larger pieces that could serve as a homework station), toy room, closet, etc. See below how Duo Ventures has made these shelves look super clean, chic, and organized!

We are currently trying to figure out where these shelves can best be utilized now that they are out of the toy room. Maybe in the new office space downstairs or extra closet storage? I will keep you posted!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Cotton Candy Cones (Party Favors)

Kate turns five next week, and we celebrated this past weekend with a roller skating party! The party pretty much ran itself (the best kind), and the only things I really had to do were make cupcakes and assemble some party favors. I decided to give out these cotton candy cones at the end of the party. Let's be honest, kids just want the sugar!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Sorry I have been missing for over a week! Between getting new hardwoods/carpet installed (and it taking longer than anticipated), Steve being out of town all week/weekend, switching up the function of several rooms in the house, and getting ready for company, I just haven't had my act together with blogging!

"Thankfully", our chalkboard finally got a makeover…

For the past two years, our toy room has been in the 5th bedroom upstairs.  We built shelves to store toys, etc.  Our kids are getting older, and our needs are changing.  We have decided to move all toys to the unfinished basement (more to come on this), move the guest bedroom to where the toy room was, and the old guest bedroom will become full time office/homework center/craft space, which is right off the mudroom and kitchen.  We just needed to come up with a plan to help us utilize our space better, and I think this will do the trick!

I spent most of one day removing all toys and shelving from this room, spackling the holes, and touching up paint.  I'm so glad that job is over and I can start with a clean slate!  This is a view from the upstairs hallway into what will be the guest bedroom.  Those storage shelves were great, but they are coming down!

Here is a picture of the raw rustic maple wood, before stain, in our upstairs hallway.  Such a difference from the carpet!

I Instagrammed a picture of the kids and I snuggling in bed on Sunday morning. The topic of discussion was whom of Drew's friends Kate wants to marry. I think I saw into my future in that moment. I have a feeling they are going to go round and round "liking" each other's friends. Someone help me!

Even in the age of Pinterest, I still like to rip out magazine pages that inspire me.  And yes, I file them and pull them out often!

I made these panko crusted tilapia tacos last week.  They were so good!  I substituted plain yogurt for the creme fraiche, and used a pre-bagged cabbage mix instead of making my own.  I'm all about shortcuts!

Two weekends ago, we met family in Iowa City and took the kids to their first Iowa football game. We had such a wonderful time tailgating, eating, hanging, out with family, and cheering Iowa on to a win in overtime!

We also took the kids to lunch at a little deli/bar where I used to work.  They thought it was so fun to see a bit of mom's past.  All it did for me was make me feel really old!!

We took a tour of the inside of my sorority house. So nostalgic and so surreal taking my own daughter there. I felt like it was yesterday when I was lounging on the couch with my girlfriends!

I think we pretty much have these two convinced they will go to Iowa…  :)

We have company coming tonight, but I wanted to check in with all of you!  I hope you are all having a great week.  I can't believe I am having to start thinking about Christmas decorations already. It's still way too early for me, but I have started a list of all the things I want to make/do this year.  It was 18 degrees here this morning, so I am starting to feel the season in my bones.  See you next week!  xo