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!

I've scoured the internet, Pinterest, and every paint store in town looking for the perfect dark charcoal gray. I brought home samples and looked at them in all different lights. Grays are hard because they can pull purple, navy, hunter green, or brown very quickly. I was really hoping for a true dark charcoal gray, and I quickly learned that you must go darker than what you think you want when painting the exterior because of all the light it receives.

Here is a photo of our house currently, with the black door and all of it's winter deadness. I want the accent color to be much darker and in gray/black tones instead of brown. The base color is Pavilion Beige by Sherwin Williams. The trim color is Keystone Gray by Sherwin Williams.

Here are photos of the house when things are actually in bloom, and back when we had a blue door. I can't even tell you how excited I am for things to be in bloom again!

So, back to the color decision. I think I have finally made the choice to go with Benjamin Moore Graphite. I think this will really give the house the pop it needs, and will be in the same color family as the black door. I also think it will make the dark parts of the stone come to life. I'm also debating adding the darker color to the pillars on the front of the porch as well.

And because we will be out of town while this change is happening, I just have to hope it's going to look good and trust that my mom will stop him it if looks bad - ha! I think we will paint a larger section of the garage when they arrive this weekend, to get a feel for how it looks on a larger space. 

Graphite is the darkest color on the right. The rest of the colors I tried looked navy, muddy brown, or purple. I really, really like Peppercorn by Sherwin Williams, but it was just too light. That is the top color.

I will definitely keep you posted on the before and afters! I won't be blogging next week while we're away, but will be on Instagram, so be sure to follow along! Can't wait to feel the sand between my toes, and come back to a new looking house! xo

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Wrapped Flower

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.

I decided to keep the plant in the original pot and dress up the outside using striped wrapping paper (Homegoods) and a little curling ribbon (IKEA). I simply cut out a large square of paper, placed the pot in the center, and started tucking the paper all around using double sided tape to help secure the paper. Once the paper is tucked and wrapped and secured, tie your ribbon or string and you're done!

This is such an easy and simple way to dress up a plastic pot. This also allows the recipient to do what they want with the flower. Scrapbook paper or fabric or any sort of covering would work too!

I can't wait to start planting and potting! Happy spring!

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).

The ingredients include things you probably already have in your pantry. I learned about a tip to freeze overripe bananas to use in smoothies and recipes, and have been doing it ever since. You can thaw the bananas ahead of time or throw them in the microwave for a bit until you can peel away the peel.

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins   (original pin found here)

4 overripe bananas smashed
1/3 cup melted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt
1 1/2 cups flour (I used half whole wheat, half all purpose)
1 cup chocolate chips
*I also add a few tablespoons of flax

Smash bananas and mix with butter. Add sugar, egg, vanilla and combine. Then add salt and baking soda. Add flour and mix until combined. Finally add chocolate chips. Pour into muffin cups and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

This recipe doesn't make a ton of muffins, about 15-18 depending on how big you make them. They are perfect any time of day and especially good with my afternoon tea!

Hope your week is off to a good start! xo

Friday, March 20, 2015

All Things Fuchsia/Orchid

Happy Friday and happy first day of spring! We are warming back up there this weekend, which I couldn't be more excited about. I can see signs of green coming up out of the ground, which means we are not far out from being able to work in the yard. I cannot wait until things are green and lush, and I can start planting!

I have been obsessing over this fuchsia/orchid color for some time now and rounded up a few fun things to celebrate spring. It's bright and bold and probably not for everyone, but I am very drawn to it. You know I love a fun pop of color and it's great in small doses.

All Things Fuschia

I already have a few fuchsia orchids and just purchased the pillows for the dining room. I'm getting ready to order the earrings and I think it's the perfect time of year to try a new, bright lip color.

I think it would be fun to spruce up a porch or patio with fuchsia pots or flowers, or just spray some old ones with this spray paint. A cute tassel necklace and Jonathan Adler journal would make such cute teacher/friend/neighbor gifts. Click on item to see cost/retailer.

We are having dinner and watching basketball with friends tonight, and have a happy hour/sushi date night tomorrow night. This afternoon, I'm heading to a local nursery for a Ladies Day Event and I'm hoping to bring home some new plants just in time for spring! Hope you have a great weekend! xo

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!

I simply used some black acrylic paint, a gold thrift store frame, and a cheap piece of foam art board from Michael's. Total project was less than $5, frame and all!

I popped out the old poster that was in the frame and used the same mat. The frame was already gold, which is what I wanted, so there was no altering the frame.

I used two sizes of small brushes to create the black "dots". There is really no technique, I just made different sizes and used different amounts of paint on the brush to create what look like Dalmatian spots. I wet the brush a few times to create lighter spots, for more of a watercolor look.

You seriously cannot screw this up! I would try a few spots on a scratch sheet of paper to get a feel for it, and then just go to town! It's fun!

I love how striking and simple this is. The black, white, and gold is classic and the spots add a fun modern element. This piece of art has had several different homes in our home, and I still haven't decided on a final spot. I guess that's what is great about having pieces that can be moved around the house and fit in several different spaces. And what's better than making you're own artwork?!

I am a creative type, but I am NOT an artist!  I do, however, like to try new things. These simple projects make me feel like an artist for about 5 minutes, and then it's back to reality!

xo, Andrea

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!

You might remember last spring, I used these same tulips to create a tulip basket for our front door. I reused all of those tulips in this wreath, which I love doing. This wreath is so easy to make, no glue required! Yep, no glue and very few items are need to get started.

Items needed & Cost Breakdown: 
Grapevine wreath (I already had one collecting dust in the basement, but you can get these for less than $5 at any craft store).

Faux Tulips (I had 3 bunches of these tulips leftover from last year. I purchased 6 additional bunches at Michael's for 3.99. The tulips were an additional 30% off and I also used a 20% off coupon that included sale items. Total for 6 bunches was $13.50).

Ribbon (This is optional, and I also purchased this at Michael's for 3.99 with the extra 20% off).

Once you have assembled your items, you will need to cut the stems off of the bunches. Each mini stem   will have 3 or 4 tulips one them. I used my small garden shears to clip the stems. Leave the "leaves" on the stems as well.

Once you have your stems cut, you simply start inserting into the grapevine wreath. I did not use any sort of method, I just tried to space the different colors throughout the wreath.

The stems should stick in the wreath with no issues. My wreath has been hanging on my door for a week and not one stem has fallen (even with snow and wind this past weekend). You will want to insert the stems all going the same direction until the wreath is full. I used all nine bunches of tulips.

I just love the way the pink pops off the glossy black door. It screams spring, and I figure this wreath can last me on the front door throughout the month of May.

This wreath seriously took about 20 minutes from the start to when I was hanging it on the door. My favorite part is that there is no glueing involved! This might be my favorite wreath I've made to date!

I've made a few spring wreaths over the years that you can check out here…

I hope spring is on the horizon for you! If it's not, go ahead and fake it with a spring wreath on your front door!

xo, Andrea

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