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Friday, February 28, 2014

Quick Cleaning a Dishwasher

Some appliances are used to clean our things, but I've learned that it is just as important to clean the appliances that do all that work! I did a little research on cleaning dishwashers, and vinegar and baking soda kept popping up. We eat at home about 90% of the time, so we acquire a lot of dirty dishes, and my dishwasher gets loaded, run, and emptied daily. I could see some build up happening around the edges and knew it was time to give it a quick clean.


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Exterior Paint Colors

I recently had a couple of questions about the trim color on our house, so I thought I would dig up and post all the colors that make up the exterior. This photo was taken as the house was being finished, over 2 years ago. You can see that the trim color is just lightly different from the base color.


Body - SW 7512 - Pavillion Beige

Trim - SW 7504 - Keystone Gray

Shutters/Garage Door - SW 7505 -Manor House

This photo is from spring 2013. I'm longing for green grass, fresh mulch, and warmer temps. It's supposed to snow here this week, but a girl can dream, right?





































Here is a closer photo of the trim and door color.
Door - Valspar - Woodlawn Juniper


I'm not a huge "beige" person, but I like the classic look of it on the exterior of a home, and think it works well with the stone on the front of the house. I'm also thinking the front door (as much as I love it) might need to be changed up soon?! I have the two year itch to start revamping a few things!


Thursday, February 20, 2014

New Light for a Boy Room

A few weeks ago, Drew had a light bulb burn out in his overhead light fixture. I don't have a before shot, but this light fixture was one we actually picked out and upgraded slightly from the standard "boob" lights that most homes come with. It was an oil rubbed bronze base, very simple and perfect for a boy's room. As soon as Steve took down the light fixture to change the bulb, he said some choice words and I knew it wasn't ever going back up!

Whoever, and however, they hung the fixture made it difficult for the next person to get it back into place. Steve tried and tried (and made several marks on the ceiling paint in the process!), until I finally just told him I would run out and pick up something else.

Cue the quick trip to Home Depot, and 10 minutes later I walked out with this fixture. Perfect for a boy's room, and a good size that makes a bit of a statement without being too much. Drew gets great daytime light in his room, and he has a lamp on his dresser that provides most of the light he needs, but we still needed something that looked good. Oh, and it needed to be inexpensive because I wasn't ever planning on replacing the original light in the first place!



This was easy to install, can be purchased in store, and came in at about $45. I actually like it better than the old fixture, so I guess it was meant to be!

I also reupholstered D's headboard and repainted his dresser recently (more to come on those), so he got a little mini bedroom makeover!
Friday, February 14, 2014

Recent Happenings

I hope you all have been having a great week! Drew missed his party at school as he has been home with a stomach bug. Sheer agony to miss a Valentine party and not be able to eat any treats the last few days. He is feeling much better today and Steve and I are headed out for some sushi tonight! We finally got some snow last week, and school was cancelled for three days. This week, school is out for conferences, so it feels like Drew has not been at school for weeks! Here is a bit of random stuff of late, and please excuse the dark, unedited iPhone pics!

Our Valentine porch…the felt heart garland is from Dollar Tree. I made the wreath last year and you can find that here.


Our chalkboard the past few weeks…I love this quote…


Pecan rolls for Valentine's Day breakfast! You can find the recipe here.


This is the first year I put hearts on the kid's doors everyday in February leading up to Valentine's Day. They loved it…something I will do every year from now on. Even if one of Drew's words reads "conscientious" and he doesn't know what that means, it's something I am grateful for!


I was in charge of bringing a healthy snack for Drew's class. Heart shaped strawberries and string cheese skewers!


These snow bunnies finally got to play in some snow. We really haven't had much snow this winter, and the kids weren't sure we were going to get any. Last year it snowed in May, so I'm pretty sure this isn't the last of it!


We are nearing Jewel's one year anniversary of being in our home. She doesn't look like she once did, but thankful to have kept her alive this long. I am hoping she will get some new growth in the spring, and I moved her to the dining room for more light in the winter. No matter how finicky, I think I will always have one of these in our home, I just love them.


Everyone grills with no shoes in frigid temps, right?! We were craving a steak dinner the other night, and got it done thanks to this guy!


These two little people continue to get more and more fun and more and more independent every single day. I LOVE this age. I want to bottle it. I want to stop time and savor every word, every adventure.

Kate learned how to tie her shoes a few weeks ago and I just signed her up for kindergarten! What? I have no words.

Drew has only 3 short months left of kindergarten before full day first grade next year. He is becoming quite a reader, which I think has been my all time favorite milestone. Anyone else feel their life flashing before their eyes?!


I made a few tweaks to Drew's room recently, and have several small DIY projects in the works. I also really want to start working on getting the office to function how I would like. The to-do list grows and grows, but I wouldn't have it any other way!  Hope you are spending time with someone special today!


Thursday, February 13, 2014

"Gem" Valentines (Using Dollar Store Items)

Using another Pinterest idea, Kate chose "Gem Valentines" for her preschool class. I was able to acquire all supplies at Dollar Tree! I used this free printable that reads "You're a real 'Gem' Valentine", printed on card stock.


Dollar Tree sells Princess Ring Pops that have clear packaging around them. Perfect for showing off the "gem"! I also purchased the curling ribbon and cellophane bags there as well. Simple, inexpensive, and festive!


You can view Valentines we have made in the past by clicking these links…

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

S'more Valentines

I love making cute Valentine's with my kids for their classmates. In the age of Pinterest, the amount of cute and easy ideas are everywhere. I showed Drew several different options to choose from, and he wanted to make S'more Valentines. He wanted something that was "not girly", and would work with both boys and girls (even though he only has 4 other boys in his class this year!). 

Oh, and one other request…no hearts!


Drew helped me assemble all of these last night and practiced his handwriting by writing all the names of the kids in his class, and his own name on the back of the card. I looked online for a free printable, but they were all "girly" or too much. I like to keep it simple, and made these little cards on my Mac and printed on card stock. 

Shhhhhh…I did throw in one little heart!

We found chocolate covered strawberry marshmallows, which he chose instead of the pink heart marshmallows. Love how they turned out!  xoxo
Thursday, February 6, 2014

Homemade Fajita/Taco Seasoning

I'm not sure about you, but we eat Mexican food like it's our business around here. It's easy to make and always delivers in the flavor department. I started making my own seasoning, and I will NEVER go back to store bought packets. There are several recipes online, and I tweaked a few until I came up with a recipe we all agreed on (one that wasn't too spicy for the kids).


I use this for both tacos and fajitas. It's easy to make with spices you probably already have on hand, and easy to store in an air tight tupperware container. You can double or even triple this recipe if you want a bunch on hand.

Homemade Fajita/Taco Seasoning

1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
2 teaspoons Chili Powder
1 teaspoon Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 1/2 teaspoons Paprika
1/2 teaspoon Onion Powder
1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/4 teaspoon Cumin
pinch Red Pepper Flakes

Mix together and use as you would any store bought seasoning packet. I use enough to coat the meat I am using, add a little water, bring to a boil, simmer for a few minutes.


I love anything I can stuff in a corn tortilla and top with avocado and cilantro! Do you make your own? Would love to hear your seasoning recipe!
Tuesday, February 4, 2014

DIY "Brass" Urchin

These brass urchins seem to be everywhere, and have been for a while.  I love them. I think I could find a place for one of these in every nook and cranny of our home. When I found a blog, Craft and Couture, with a tutorial on how to make one, I was all in. This is so easy and fun to make!


Please reference Craft and Couture's post for detailed instructions! Gather your supplies..


Mold your clay/sticks, and bake…


Allow time to cool, and spray away!


This project is simple and inexpensive.  A perfect snow day craft!


I have enough supplies left over, so I think I will make another one for our master bedroom. I don't think I will ever time of brass/gold. Are you over it, or still on board?!


I also picked up my first orchid at Trader Joe's a few weeks ago. I have a pretty green thumb, but orchids scare me! Any tips I need to know about?

{Round table // World Market, White Pot // Crate & Barrel, Candle // TJ Maxx}

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