Life Love Larson: 2015


Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Holiday Fun & An Upcoming Road Trip

Hi friends! I hope you have all been enjoying family, friends, and festive times! We have been busy in a good way over here, and soaking in every moment while we still have two little believers (I guess I should say one believer, and one mostly believer with a little skeptic thrown in there)! Christmas in KC is always fun. We have done some of the same, and tried some new things this year. And our December weather has been unseasonably warm - I love it! We are hoping for a few snowfalls this year though. It's not a midwest winter without a little snow!

We always see the Von Maur Santa. He is the best and the lines usually aren't very long! I guess they are getting too big for laps. Sniff, sniff.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Christmas Home Tour

Welcome to this little blog and our home! It's been a busy few months around here, but our halls have been decked and our lights have been strung, and we are enjoying unseasonably warm temps here in Kansas City! I'll take it!

I am so pleased to be participating in this Christmas Home Tour with so many talented bloggers. A huge thank you to Marty from A Stroll Thru Life for organizing. The tour left off yesterday with Sherry from No Minimalist Here and you can find links to all the home tours at the bottom of this post!

I do say the term "home tour" loosely because I really only decorate a few rooms on the first floor of our home. It's where we spend the most time and where we entertain, so that seems like enough to me! I went very minimal this year and left much of our Christmas stuff in the basement. I wanted to keep our regular home decor at the forefront and supplement with festive and fresh touches. My husband and kids recently told me how much they love our home this time of year because it's so cozy. Creating a warm, inviting space for your friends and guests doesn't have to be time consuming or stressful! I don't decorate for the blog, I decorate because I love doing it. I also have young kids who won't remember a perfect house, but will remember time spent together. When my family feels cozy and at home, I have done my job. Sharing with you is just a bonus! :)

We installed a new front door this year (my favorite upgrade of the year), and it looks especially great with fresh garland around it! Can you find me?! Those container pots were a fun little DIY project this year too!

Monday, December 7, 2015

DIY Winter Friendly Container Pots

Hello and happy December! I've decked the halls and kept it pretty minimal this year with lots of fresh greenery inside and out. More to come on this as I am participating in a blogger home tour this week (see below for the line up)!

For the outside of our home, I decided I wanted to try to make some winter friendly container pots for the front porch using tree trimmings and things I already had on hand. Several of my friends and neighbors made some at a local nursery recently, but I wasn't able to go. They turned out very pretty and well done. Here is my late night, no cost, DIY version!
Monday, November 23, 2015

Dressing Up the Bar Cart for Thanksgiving

Happy Monday! We host Thanksgiving every year, so you won't see any bits of Christmas around here until the weekend. I've decided to only "decorate" the dining room, as that is where will be eating. And by decorate, I mean set a table and add one printable banner the the bar cart... :)

Thursday, November 19, 2015

DIY Scrapbook Paper Place Cards

Hello friends! I'm back with a quick post on some super easy DIY place cards that I made last night in about 10 minutes with supplies I had on hand. If you can use scissors and tape, you can do this! We host my husband's family for Thanksgiving every year, and I like to set a more formal dining table (because it otherwise doesn't get used much). That being said, I also like to keep things easy and simple. I found an image on Pinterest that led me to a shop where you can purchase these place cards. I decided to make eight of these for no cost because I had everything on hand!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Halloween Mantel

The porch is decorated, candy has been purchased, costumes have been secured, and I finished up decorating the mantel yesterday. We are officially ready for Halloween and it's only the 8th - woo hoo! I don't do a lot of indoor decorating for Halloween. Every year I purchase one or two new things, but I try to keep in centralized to one area to keep it easy. This year the mantel is black/white and super gaudy, which is super fun for me!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Vintage Flush Mount Light Fixture

Well, it's finally starting to feel like fall in KC! The daytime temps are warm, and the morning and evening temps are perfectly chilly - sleeping weather at it's finest!

I wanted to quickly share a vintage find I scored for our bedroom. We were in Des Moines a few weekends ago visiting my family and we popped into a few vintage/antique stores. We were searching for a light fixture for our master bedroom sitting area. As I turned the corner, this light was staring me in the face! The owner of the space happened to be sitting in the booth. I asked her the price because there was no price tag and she just said, "How about $75?" SOLD, SOLD, SOLD! She told me she painstakingly cleaned every crystal herself and the hard wiring was perfectly working. SOLD, SOLD, SOLD!

Monday, September 28, 2015

New Glass Panel Front Door

Good morning and happy Monday! I mentioned in this post a few weeks ago that we had pulled the trigger on a new glass panel front door. It arrived last week and I'm in love!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

"Eat Well, Travel Often" Printed & Framed

Good morning! The whole month of September has sort of had me going every which way and back again! Busy in a good way with company, being out of town, new school/activity routines, starting a new job, hosting a party, and finishing house projects! This week slows down a bit, and I couldn't be happier about that. I spent most of Sunday relaxing and did a lot of sitting…something I really don't do much of!

We have a new framed typography print in our eating area that I wanted to share with you. I had been wanting something large scale and graphic for this space. I also wanted something casual and something that represented us as a family. Our home is very open concept, so basically no walls and everything can be seen from every room. The eating area is at the center of it all.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Fall Home Tour

Hello, happy Friday, and welcome to the Life Love Larson fall home tour! If you are visiting from Designing on the Side, I'm happy you are here! A big thank you to Marty from A Stroll Thru Life for hosting this tour. We are nearing the end of the week and the end of the tour, and I hope you have a chance to check out all 30 homes and are finding some good inspiration!

I'm not particularly drawn to traditional fall colors, but I've tried to incorporate texture, layers, greenery, and fresh flowers to add warmth and make our home feel cozy as the temperatures start to drop and the days become shorter. Transitioning into fall in our home is fun because it means football, bonfires, pumpkins, and jeans are all on their way! Welcome to our home!

DINING ROOM: I'm crushing on everything blush colored right now. These pillows found their way to the dining room. Along with some fresh greenery, leopard print runner and touches of gold, this speaks to me in a non-traditional fall kind of way. I'm a believer in decorating with what you love, no matter the season! Clipped stems from the yard add freshness to the bar cart.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Chalkboard Fall Bucket List

Happy Friday! I have been at preschool this week getting ready the room ready with my co-teachers and meeting my new students/families. It's been such fun for me, I can't wait to get started! This weekend, we are taking the kids back to our college town for a football game. We take them every year and tailgate with family and it's always a great time. We are all looking forward to it, despite it not quite feeling like football weather yet (90 degrees still)!

Now that the calendar has turned to September, I have started to get into fall mode. I washed up the chalk wall and created our 2015 fall bucket list. I have been doing a summer & fall list on this chalk wall for several years, and it's one of my kid's favorite things. Mom loves it too! The chalk wall separates our kitchen and mudroom and is very hard to photograph!
Monday, August 17, 2015

LLL Travels: Fraser, Colorado

Happy Monday, friends! I'm still trying to get into a routine with my days since both of my kiddos are off to full day school this year. I'm starting a new journey in a few weeks too, with a new very part time job. There is so much I want to do, and sometimes not really sure where to start! We had a fantastic summer, which included some travel for me and Steve, as well as with the kids. I wanted to share our adventures on a recent road trip to Colorado. We drove there and back (11 hours each way), and spent 3 full days in the mountains with some great friends/neighbors. A trip we won't soon forget!

Monday, August 10, 2015

New Hanging Lantern

Happy Monday, friends! I've been a bad blogger, but I've been traveling and enjoying the summer with my kids, which holds way more precedence than this blog! School starts this week and I have so many projects and posts to get to, but let's get started with this new hanging lantern on the back covered patio.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Grilled Chicken Summer Salad w/ Garlic Lime Vinaigrette

Good morning and happy Friday! We made it to the weekend!

My next door neighbor and friend had her third baby boy a few weeks ago. I knew I wanted to bring them dinner and scrolled through my Pinterest boards for ideas. I usually make a lasagna or a hot dish for friends, but because it has been so hot outside, I decided on a simple summer salad with grilled chicken and a homemade vinaigrette.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Five Minute DIY Ribbon Wreath

Good Monday morning! After the July 4th, I took the star "wreath" down from the front door and needed a little something to get me through the rest of the summer. If you have been reading for a while, I usually make my own wreaths, and I like to change it up. This one is about as easy as it gets!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

DIY Faux Fur Runner

Hello! Welcome to the post on the simplest DIY project ever! I needed a runner for our office space and I wanted something with texture and something soft underfoot. I came across this image on Apartment Therapy and after a quick run to Walmart for some thread, and 10 minutes of my time, I had a 6.5 foot runner for $20! I already had two of these faux fur rugs from Ikea laying around, which made this very easy to accomplish.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Blueberry Doughnut Muffins w/Lemon Glaze

Welcome to July! I'm not really sure what happened to June, but I intend to savor every remaining moment of what is left of our summer! We went early morning blueberry picking with some friends this week. I decided to come home and try a new muffin recipe that I found via Pinterest. Are you guys over Pinterest or are you still addicted? I still love and think I always will! I searched "blueberry recipes" and this one from My Baking Addiction caught my eye. I got busy and these turned out fantastic! A hint of lemon in the glaze, and a dense texture make this recipe a keeper!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Decorating Around Dark Leather Sofas

Let's talk furniture, shall we? Steve and I purchased a very large and very dark leather sofa/love seat combo many moons ago. We spend a nice chunk of change on this furniture and it has held up like no other. It's had it's fair share of spills and couch jumps and climbing children and it's been our main seating source in our last three homes. The sofa is large enough for my 6'3" husband to comfortably stretch his legs and between the two of them, they hold a lot of people. There has never been a tear, a scratch, and we've never had to do any maintenance on these sofas.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Walt Disney World: Hollywood Studios

We're finally on the home stretch and I'm talking about the last leg of our Disney adventure! Hollywood Studios housed one of our favorite rides in all of Disney, we sang with Anna & Elsa, Drew got to fight Darth Vader on stage, and yours truly was picked to participate in the Indiana Jones Stunt Show. So, so fun!

Here are the links to the previous posts:
WDW: Thoughts & Logistics from First-Timers
WDW: Magic Kingdom
WDW: Epcot
WDW: Animal Kingdom

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Keeping Hydrangeas Perky

Happy Thursday! Just a quick pop-in to share a little tip I learned from another blogger regarding keeping hydrangeas from drooping. I tried it yesterday and it worked, so I wanted to share with you. I just love having these on my desk space!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Indoor Summer Home Tour

Welcome and hello summer! I thought I would share a little more of the inside of our home with a mini summer home tour! I plan to do a separate post with our outdoor space, porch, and patio. Summer is my favorite time of year when things are lush and green outside and the sun is shining bright inside. Longer days, warm nights, and no early bedtime routines makes this momma happy!

I don't really do much to change things up, just add a few touches here and there and rearrange a few things. I love plants, which do most of the talking this time of year. The natural light and open concept provide most of my happiness on this first floor. This is the view from walking in our front door. That little pink stool is adding a nice touch of fun to this room! I also recently added that hanging gold dipped concrete planter. The more plants, the better, in my opinion. We also just washed the interior and exterior windows in our home, so everything seems lighter and brighter than before.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Walt Disney World: Animal Kingdom

I decided to just break up all parks into four separate posts. If you missed any previous posts you can see find them here… Logistics, Epcot, Magic Kingdom. Even though we didn't spend a ton of time at Animal Kingdom, we visited there on two separate days to get done what we had on our list. We originally didn't even think we would have time to get to Animal Kingdom, but as you read in previous posts, we had more than enough time to get to everything! If you have the time, I would check it out!
Thursday, June 4, 2015

Walt Disney World: Magic Kingdom

Next up on our tour through Disney is to recap our time at Magic Kingdom. We visited MK twice in a four day time span. Seeing the castle for the first time with your kids is nothing short of magical and everything you want it to be. If you missed the first two parts of this trip, you can find all logistics HERE and our Epcot recap can be found HERE. I have also included a "Travel" tab at the top of the page with all of my travel recaps.

I love this photo because there is no one else around! We were able to get into the park early one day because we had Be Our Guest breakfast reservations at the Beast's Castle (see below).

Friday, May 29, 2015

Walt Disney World: Epcot

Happy Friday! It's been raining so much here, and the temps aren't creeping up past 70, but at least it's the weekend! I promised more Disney posts, so today I'm going to recap our time at Epcot. It gets a post of its own because it was our favorite and we went there three different times in 4 days!  If you missed my entry post on our recent trip to Disney World, you can read that here.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Chalkboard Summer Bucket List

Our kids got out of school last week, so we are officially on summer break! I am really looking forward to the kids being home, being lazy, trying new things, and traveling a bit. We created our summer fun list last week to kickstart the official beginnings of summer. I love this chalkboard wall for so many reasons, and though some say chalkboards are "out", they will always be "in" at our house!
Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Disney: Thoughts & Logistics From First-Timers

We had the most amazing time on our recent family vacation to Walk Disney World in Orlando, FL! It was everything you hope vacation to be, and then some. If you follow me on  Instagram, you saw all my posts and our smiling faces! I was a bit skeptical going in, not really seeing what all the Disney hype was about. I must admit, we absolutely had the most magical time. We saw and did everything we wanted to, we were carefree, Steve didn't do an ounce of work, we worked together to plan our days, our kids bonded, we bonded, we wish we could go back and relive all seven of those glorious days! Family vacations are expensive and time consuming to plan, but oh my gosh, are they worth it.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Corner Desk + Pinboard for Kate

Over the past year, we have been making a few slight changes to Kate's room. Nothing major, just making it a little bit more "big girl". I'm not a fan of nurseries or kid rooms where they don't like look a child lives there. You only have one room growing up and I feel it should reflect a child's space, not an adult space. I also feel as kids get older that bedrooms should be warm and cozy, but also functional for play, schoolwork, etc.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Exterior Paint Facelift

While Steve and I were in West Palm a few weeks ago, my parents came to watch our kids. Lucky for us, my dad also painted the accent color on the exterior of our house. You can read more about the paint color decision process here. It was so nice to be away and come back to a new looking home! A total win/win!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Homemade All Purpose Cleaner

Back in January, I decided to make my first batch of homemade all purpose cleaner. I have always cleaned my own house, and this house has four bathrooms and a large kitchen to maintain. I was going through a lot of cleaner! The older Drew gets, the more I realize that boys are just dirty, especially in the bathroom! :)

I did some online research and kept seeing the same homemade recipe pop up, so I knew it must be good. I have been so pleased with it, I will never buy store bought again! It's so simple to make, and you will never run out because it's made with ingredients you already have in your pantry.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Trip Recap: West Palm Beach

Happy Monday! We had a great weekend full of fun, relaxation, and productivity; which happens to be my favorite kind! I'm holding out for our weather to get a little more consistent, but we did manage to get a lot of yard work done and gave the garage a good clean out.

I wanted to do a quick recap of our West Palm Beach trip. Steve had business meetings all week, I've never been to West Palm, we had available babysitters, so I decided to just tag along! We landed and were randomly given a mustang convertible as our rental. It was funny at first, and by the end of the week, we were convinced we needed to go back to Kansas and get ourselves one. Ha! Here we are cruising A1A on our way to dinner.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Trip Recap: Singapore Trip (Part 1)

I finally starting going through all of the photos I took when I traveled to Singapore in January. I've decided I'm going to break up these posts so as not to have your eyes glaze over from all the photos!

This was such a memorable and amazing experience; to travel so far and to spend time with my sister and her family. My sister, her husband, and my niece and nephew have lived in Singapore for what will be two years this summer. They are moving back to the states this summer (yay!), so I was lucky to squeeze in a visit while they were still there. They were such wonderful hosts and travel guides, and I couldn't be more grateful for the experience.

Here is a reference point as to where Singapore is on the map. You can see how close it is to the Equator, making this a hot and humid place all year long. You can also see just how long it takes to get there!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Dark Charcoal Paint Decision

Happy Friday, friends! Steve and I are getting ready to head to Florida next week, and my parents will be coming to watch the kids. During that time, I've enlisted my painter (aka my dad) to do a little exterior paint work! I think he is officially going to become mine and my sister's personal handyman in his retirement!

We have decided to go ahead and update our exterior accent paint color. We purchased our home just over three years ago after moving to KC from San Antonio. This home was a spec, but we bought it just in time to pick the finishes, paint colors, stains, etc. The catch was that we only had three days to choose everything. Three days!!! Not good for an indecisive person!!

Long story short, I've never really loved the color of the house…way too brown, and too tonal. Our builder worked with an interior design company at the time and they basically chose the exterior colors and we said yes. And because I'm not going to pay to paint the entire house all over again, or the trim, we are going to update the accent color which is found on the garage doors and the shutters. The front door will stay black. Choosing a dark gray/almost black paint color is hard!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Wrapping a Plant with Wrapping Paper

Some friends invited us for dinner a few weekends ago and it also happened to be the first day of spring. I wanted to bring them a little gift and thought a flower seemed appropriate for the day. These pink gerber daisies were the winner.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

It's been awhile since I've posted a recipe! I am always trying new recipes, but I'm usually not prepared enough to take photos of the process or the outcome!

Our go-to, most favorite, freezer friendly muffin has always been pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, which I blogged about here. I wanted to switch things up a little and tried this new recipe for banana chocolate chip muffins I found on Pinterest. They are equally as delicious and freezer friendly, perfect for throwing in a lunch or to eat as an after school snack. We eat these for breakfast often (30 seconds in microwave and they are perfect).

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

DIY Black Dot Art

Hello friends! Spring break starts for us on Thursday, and our temps are feeling very spring like. I couldn't be happier about longer days and happy kids who have been playing outdoors! I have to extend a huge thank you to all of you for pinning, commenting, and featuring my spring tulip wreath from last week. I'm blown away with all the nice comments. I'm sure there will be tulip wreaths popping up all over and that gets me excited. I hope to inspire even one person, so I'm happy to have inspired so many of you! xo

I have another easy DIY project to share today. I have seen this black/white dot art around the blogosphere and on Pinterest, and thought it would be fun to try and create my own little piece of art. This was such an fun and easy project, and by using a thrift store frame, it was also very cost affective. Simple, yet striking is right up my alley!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

DIY Spring Tulip Wreath

It's finally March - woohoo! A warming trend is on the horizon for us in Kansas City and I couldn't be more exited. I hadn't "DIYed" anything in a while, and figured I would try a new wreath to freshen our door for spring. I came across several images of tulip wreaths online and new one would be easy to recreate. There are a ton of these wreaths and tutorials online, and many for sale if you don't want to make your own. I will give credit to The Frugal Homemaker for inspiring me on this project! She used reds and yellows and oranges, and I opted for pinks and whites and of course, a touch of black/white!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

More Dining Room Updates

I swear this room has had furniture in it since the time we moved in, but I just can't ever seem to get the styling/walls the way I want them! It's a syndrome for every room in my house, but the dining room is really close to being done. Close, I tell you!

Monday, January 12, 2015

I'm Off to Singapore!

And just as soon as I get back to blogging, I'm off again for 10 days! I'm ditching these cold temps and flying to Singapore to visit my sister and her family. I'm so excited! Singapore is located near the equator and every day is hot and humid and tropical. My sister said the weather has been gorgeous and breezy. She sent me this photo from her balcony a few days ago and this just solidified that 24 hours of travel will be worth it!

The timing of this trip worked out perfectly because we already knew my parents would be staying with us, and they would be able to help babysit while Steve works/travels. I'm going alone, which seems strange and exhilarating all at the same time. I know there will be memories made and that adventure awaits.

I'm so grateful for Steve and my parents for holding down the fort while I'm gone. It's a long time to be away, but there is no way I could turn down this amazing opportunity to travel and see more of the world and spend quality time with my sister.

We are also heading to Saigon for a little weekend girl's trip which will include a motorbike foodie tour! I hope you will follow along as I will be posting pictures from my travels on Instagram. See you back here when I return! xoxo