Life Love Larson: April 2014


Monday, April 28, 2014

White Board + Hooks + Baskets in the Mudroom

We added a few things to the mudroom that I wanted to source for you. Our mudroom isn't huge, but I LOVE having a mudroom, and it functions for our family of four. Across from our built-in storage piece, I added some new hooks from IKEA. Each hook rack has 5 double hooks, so each child has more than enough room for their backpack, sweatshirts, coats, etc. Steve and I now use all of the hooks on the built-in, and the kids use these hooks that we hung at their level.

This room gets zero natural light, so it never looks good in photos, please forgive!

You can find these hooks here. They are inexpensive at $9.99 each.
We also added a white board above the hooks to keep track of our weekly calendar. I still use a paper and pen calendar (I'm old school!), but I thought it would be nice to have everything in one place in order for Steve and the kids to view our schedule each week, and to have a place to write notes to each other. I update it every Sunday night. This is so simple, but we all absolutely love it. 

I purchased this one on sale at Target, and spray painted over the silver with high gloss black. It's also a magnet board and it is very large scale, which I love.

Lastly, I added some white bins to the openings in the built-in. They are a very hard plastic, and very durable, with a basket weave look. I like that I can wash them out easily. I also like that they sit lower than a basket so things are easier to see and get to. The built-in has a dark stain, so I wanted to brighten things up a bit with the white.

Four baskets, so we each have our own, tallest to shortest in line. In the winter, they held hats, gloves, scarves, etc. Now they hold sunglasses, ball caps, flip flops, etc. 

I also purchased these at Target (on sale when I bought them). You should be able to find these in store for cheaper than they are online. I would highly recommend these and they come in several colors.

I also wanted to send a huge thank you to The Dedicated House blog for featuring my Painted White Dresser!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Look for Less Challenge: DIY Succulent & Cactus Terrarium

It's time for another Look For Less Challenge! I wanted to make something "spring like", and you know my obsession with all things plant related, so I created a sweet little terrarium for my office space. I'm in love with how it turned out! The circular shape, bright colors, and plants just sing to me!

The inspiration for this challenge came from Etsy. There are so many GORGEOUS terrariums online, but I thought I could try to DIY one at home for less! I have never tried to make one, so I thought this would be a good way to save some money and try something new.

There are several globe terrariums for sale on Etsy, but some of the ones I were drawn to ranged in price from $70-100!

I was able to create a globe terrarium with succulents and cactus for about $23.

I purchased all of the items I needed to make this terrarium at a local nursery (including the globe vessel), with the exception of the rock and white sand. I purchased those two items at Dollar Tree!

I started out with a clean globe and added a layer of white sand to the bottom.

I then added the potting soil (must be specific for cactus and succulents) on top, with more along the back, so it slopes down toward the opening.

I then started layering the cactus and succulents. I removed the container they came in, and buried the roots in the soil. I then added more soil on top to cover the roots. Once positioned where I liked them, I added different kinds of moss all around the top of the soil and around the plants. I purchased a container of moss at the nursery for $1.50 that had several different types and colors of moss. This was perfect for what I needed!

Lastly, I added some rock to the front of the opening for additional texture and layering. It it tricky to fit your hand inside the opening to arrange everything, especially with prickly cactus front and center! 

I plan to spray the inside of the terrarium with water every 2 weeks or so. All of these plants like to be very dry, so it will take some trial and error, but I always err on the side of under watering!

This terrarium has found a new home on my desk, next to my computer, and right by a window that gets bright light.

Here is the final cost breakdown…

Globe - $10, 8 inches, from local nursery
Succulent #1 - $1.99, from local nursery, smallest size they offer
Succulent #2 - $1.99, from local nursery, smallest size they offer
Cactus #1 - pink, $4.00, from local nursery
Cactus #2 - prickly ball, $3.00, from local nursery
Moss - $1.50 from local nursery, used about 1/3, $.50
Sand - $1 from Dollar Tree, used about half, $.50
Rocks - $1 from Dollar Tree, used about half, $.50
Soil - $4.99 from local nursery, only used about 1/5, $1

Total cost, including the glass globe was around $23. I am so happy I have leftover sand, moss, rock, and soil, so I can try to make another one as a gift or for another room in the house! Low maintenance, fun to assemble, and very striking!

I participate in this challenge with several other bloggers, so be sure to check out what they have come up with this time around!

Please check my other two Look for Less posts:

DIY Faux Fur Vanity Stool

Linking up with:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Gold Pulls for White Dresser

Yesterday, I shared with you the $20 dresser I repainted Pure White by Sherwin Williams. Previously, I kept the old hardware on the dresser, but I wanted a change. I ultimately decided on gold because we have a white kitchen with black hardware, and I wanted to switch it up.

I couldn't find anything I really liked in the size I needed (3.5 inches), that was also budget friendly. I needed 4 pulls total. The top of the dresser has 4 ring pulls that are custom to the piece, that I knew I was going to have to reuse. Considering all these factors, I found 4 inexpensive pulls, and spray painted them gold!

I purchased the 4 new pulls from Lowe's online. They were $3.97 per pull with free shipping. I liked the clean lines and thought they would compliment the ring pulls I had to reuse. They came in oil rubbed bronze, but I knew I was going to spray paint them anyway.

Here is a before shot of the old pulls (top), the new pulls, and the ring pulls I had to reuse (left).

I lightly sanded down the hardware and gave it 3 coats of Rust-oleum's Metallic Gold Spray.

I love the shine and metallic accent. I think the gold and bright white really modernize the piece. And doesn't every dresser need a little tassel to finish it off?!

See you back here tomorrow for my latest "Look For Less" Challenge! xo
Monday, April 14, 2014

Painted White Dresser

I found a dresser at Habitat Restore several years ago for $20 and painted it bright red. It used to be in our old eating area (in the San Antonio house). When we moved to KC, it found a home behind our couch, sort of acting at a console table. I use the drawers for storage, which I love.

Everyone (including me) always loved the pop of red in the space, but after looking at it for so many years, I decided I needed a change.


I wanted bright white and I wanted to change the hardware.

Here is the original piece before it was ever painted...

And here it is in the space, painted red (after cleaning the original hardware)…

I ended up using "Pure White" by Sherwin Williams in their oil based enamel to get a super shiny, hard coated finish. I previously painted the dresser in red latex paint and it was chipping, always had a sticky feeling on the top, and it never had that "furniture" look to it.

I'm convinced that all furniture needs to be painted in oil based paint! You won't regret taking the extra time!

I lightly sanded the entire dresser, wiped it down really well, and added 3 coats of the oil based paint. I didn't prime over the red, just added an additional coat of the white. I waited 24 hours in between each coat (one of the downfalls of oil based paints).

The final result is just what I wanted, light and bright and hard coated. It really pops against our dark hardwoods and our dark couch.

Eventually, I would like to get something new for behind the couch, but for now, I'm loving the fresh change. The plan is for this dresser to be moved to the guest bedroom as soon as I find something, but I'm in no rush.

I will fill you in on the hardware change tomorrow! Hope you have a great week! xo

Linking up with:,,,,,,,,,,, http://www.reasonstoskipthehousework.com,,,,,,,,,,,,
Friday, April 11, 2014

How Is It Even Possible...

…that this child, my baby, my last born child, my girl, is off to kindergarten next year?!?! Kindergarten Round-Up for incoming Kindergartners was this morning, which just adds confirmation to the fact that my life is flashing before my very eyes. She's confident and very ready, but it still makes this mom's heart skip a beat that in 4 short months, both of my kids will be in elementary school.

She's only going half day, but still… :)

We squeezed in a picnic this afternoon and the weather is just perfect in KC right now! Hope you all have a fabulous weekend!
Monday, April 7, 2014

Easy Tulip "Wreath"

I wanted to incorporate tulips on my front door for spring. So, I scrounged up an old basket I had laying in the garage, added some faux tulip stems from Michael's, and I had a "wreath" that took about 3 minutes to assemble!

The tulips are mini and were $2 a bunch (the ones I chose were white, pale pink, and magenta). I used four for this wreath. I already had the basket and chevron ribbon, so this wreath came in under $9! I barely poked the stems through the bottom of the basket to secure them.

There is something I really like about the pop of pink off our blue front door. I also spray painted an over the door wreath hanger with gold spray paint for a little shot of metallic.

I love the punch of color, and the mixed hues of pink and white.

Even if our weather is going to be hit or miss, at least it's spring on my front porch!!  xo
Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Homemade Energy Balls

I took a screen shot of a recipe found on my Instagram feed back in January and finally got around to trying these energy balls. These are so easy, and so good, and a perfect snack!

Natalie, at Designer Bags and Dirty Diapers, gets the credit for this one! Thanks for sharing on Instagram!

These come together with ingredients in your pantry and there is no baking involved. Simply combine ingredients, roll into little balls, refrigerate to harden up and store them in a ziploc or tupperware in your fridge for a quick, go-to snack!

These are the ingredients you need...

1 cup oats, 1/2 cup peanut butter, 1/3 cup chocolate chips (I use mini chips), 1/3 cup honey, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 teaspoon cinnamon. The recipe calls for 3/4 cup coconut flakes but I only used 1/4 cup. I also added about 2 Tablespoons of flax and 2 Tablespoons of chia seeds.

This makes about 13 energy balls.

Such an easy grab and go snack! xo

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Small Updates in Kate's Room

Kate's room is one of those rooms that has pretty much been the same since we moved in two years ago. I still love it. I usually get sick of looking at the same things day in and day out, but for some reason, her room still makes me happy. It is full of bright colors and so many DIY projects, which makes it special to me/her. All that said, it is just in me to switch up a few things here and there!

Recently, I moved the DIY Metallic Tassel Garland (from my Christmas mantel) to her room. It was too cute for me to part with!

We also added this hanging planter above her window. I have passed on my love of plants to this girl because she is obsessed! I think every room should house something living (besides your actual children :)!

This sweet planter is from IKEA. I also have one hanging in the new office/homework space. It's just the perfect scale for in front of a window.

Sometimes adding or switching up a few small things breathes new life into a room! And sometimes that is all a room needs to feel fresh again!  xo