Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Kirkland's Look For Less

I am so happy to be collaborating with Kirkland's on a Look for Less post! Look for less items are right up my alley as I feel strongly that good design doesn't have to cost a fortune. I have chosen five items from the Kirkland's website and compared them to similar items found online. I chose items that immediately caught my eye and are things I would purchase for my own home. As you can see from some of my choices, I must be into gold and geometric shapes right now! I am amazed at the price difference on these items. Be sure to check out the Kirkland's website for many more great deals!

You just can't go wrong with a large mirror! Large mirrors work in all spaces, bounce light around the room, and provide a little touch of "jewelry" in a space. This mirror is modern and dimensional, which I love!

Look for Less

Shades of Light // Kirkland's

I'm obsessed with these little patterned bowls! What a great gift! They would look adorable stacked on open shelving and are perfect for serving snacks.

Look for Less

We actually already have two white gourd lamps on either side of the bed in our master bedroom. I absolutely love them! This lamp is simple, elegant, timeless, and goes with every style of decor. This price point is amazing and the clear base is spot on!

Look for Less

These pendant lights are cool and modern. I can see these over an island, one over a sink, or multiple in a basement bar area. The black is striking without being too harsh because of the fun geometric cage!

Look for Less

Talk about a great gift for a wine lover! Even if you don't drink wine, this wine rack is chic enough to display in a kitchen or bar or dining room (or any space)! This is such a great price, you just can't go wrong! Give me all things gold!

Look for Less

I hope you found something that caught your eye! I encourage you to check out the Kirkland's website for many more great finds. Many of these items are new and won't last long! xo

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Moving the Fiddle Leaf Fig Outdoors

Hi friends! I decided to try something I've been wanting to try for a few years now. I recently moved our 6 foot fiddle leaf fig tree outside, to the back patio. I'm scared. I love "Jewel". I had my kids name her when we got her. Yes, it's strange. Yes, I love plants. Yes, I am the crazy plant lady! I have somehow managed to keep Jewel alive for over 3 years, and I don't want this move outside to kill her! Obviously, it's a temporary move, as we live in Kansas and it will only be hot and humid enough for her for a few months, but I am going for it. Here, you can read all about when we first got her, as well as see pictures of how full she used to be...hence my need to move her outside!
I know FLFs love humidity and heat and indirect sunlight. I've read stories of people moving them outside and them growing several new leaves and branches during that time. Well, I'm going for it this year. We have a covered back patio and I'm keeping her back enough against the house that her leaves will not burn (the black piece just above her is where our TV connects). She will get some direct sunlight, but late in the day for a few hours as the sun begins to set. I know they are finicky and don't like to be moved, but I'm hoping this is a good move, away from the air conditioning vent, into the hot and humid air.

Now, I have a space indoors that just looks barren without her. I'm going to have to come up with something for the summer months. I'm most definitely going to have to water Jewel more than I normally would if she were still indoors. I basically ignore her for several weeks until she dries out before giving her water. Now, I will have to check about once a week to see if she needs a drink. This was her old spot in our eating space.
The branches of the tree are not full like they once were, but as long as I see new growth and new leaves, I know she is hanging in there. I did move her from an indoor lined basket to a more durable outdoor planter (it's still too big for the planter, but I'm just leaving it).
Why do they have to be so finicky?...and expensive?...but, they are just so dramatic and pretty. I am such a sucker for a tropical plant. It's too bad I live in Kansas, so I mostly have to enjoy these guys indoors. I"ll keep you posted on what happens over the summer. Hopefully I won't have to move her back in any time soon. I've been wanting to do this for a few years and finally got the courage to try it. Hopefully I will get lucky! Tips and suggestions welcome! Happy summer! xo

Monday, June 13, 2016

Chalkboard Summer Bucket List 2016

Good morning! I hope you're summer is off to a wonderful start! Our kids got out of school May 20th this year, so we have been in summer mode for a few weeks already. No snow days this year, so we had two full weeks before our pool opened or any activities started. Having a few weeks with nothing really going on is so glorious. My kids needed the downtime and I think it's so fun having them home. June is full of fishing and camps and being pool bums...we heart summer around here!

This is the fourth year we have made a summer bucket list on our chalkboard wall. It's a favorite and I'm so glad we started doing it. The kids are getting older (7.5 and almost 9), so we have to tweak the list every year, but I know we will be doing this for years to come. There is so much to do in our city, we should never run out of things to do!

I've used this childhood quote on this wall before. I just love it and find it speaks to me. I don't believe that every minute of every day should be devoted to your kids. I don't believe that it is my job to entertain my kids all day long. I believe that kids should learn how to be bored. I believe they should have to use their imaginations. I believe siblings need to find ways to get along without a parent intervening every time. I believe that kids should be able to go to the grocery store and run errands without it ending their world (or their parent's :).

However, I am home with my kids all summer, summer is a season of fun, my kids are only young once, and we intend to have a lot of fun! I think most parents hope to provide a childhood their kids will remember, and we are no exception. This certainly doesn't mean saying yes to everything. I believe the power of saying "no", and often. I believe in the power of new experiences and trying new things and it is important for us to pass this along to our children. I also believe in old fashioned fun and the power of playing with friends and learning how to resolve conflicts. I believe in frog catching, bike rides, nerf gun wars, and taking baby dolls for stroller rides. I want our kids to think back about their childhood and not remember what they received, but what they "did" and what they "learned" and that they were "loved".

We add a lot to the list and never get to all of it, but it's a good reference point for us. Most of the items on the list are inexpensive or free, which is also important to me!

I decided to make a little bunting for the summer list using random scrapbook paper. I just adhered it to the wall with electrical tape on the back of the paper. So far, so good!

We als have a separate list of new restaurants we have been wanting to try. And come on, if you are anything like me, you LOVE a list! I've passed the "love" on to my kids!

You can find our other summer bucket lists here:
Cheers to a fantastic summer full of late nights, eating outside, friends, family, vacations, good food, relaxation, sunshine, and happiness! xo


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Summer Home Tour 2016

It's that time of year again - summer home tour time! Marty, from A Stroll Thru Lifehas been gracious enough to put together a blogger's home tour series all this week. Welcome to the start of day two! I hope you will hop around to all the tours, feel inspired, and find some new blogs to follow! See a full tour line up at the end of the post!

Plants and greenery usually dominate all of my spaces, and of course, summer is the best time for this. Fresh cuttings from the yard are abundant right now, which is so great because they are free! Changing out pillow covers and tweaking things here and there breathe new life into our home. Maintaining our outdoor spaces (porch & patio & yard) are also a big part of our living space, as we spend so much time outdoors. I like bright and airy with pops of color, so decorating for summer is right up my alley! Many items in our home are no longer for sale, but I have listed where things were purchased so you get an idea of where I shop! :)

Nothing in our home is super expensive or fancy. We live here and we like lived-in, cozy, and fresh spaces. We never want anyone to feel like they can't put their feet up here!

I thought I would start in the heart of our home, the kitchen. We spend most of our time here and it's one of my favorite rooms in the house. It's so easy to change up a kitchen for the seasons using flowers, herbs, and fresh fruit. I also added a pink runner in here several months ago, and it just screams summer. I love, love, love pops of pink in home decor. This runner has changed the whole look of this kitchen.
Cut greens: Russian Sage | Roses: Trader Joe's  | Runner: Rugs USA | Kitchen Stools: World Market 

Connected to our kitchen is a little half wall that I painted with chalkboard paint right when we moved in 4.5 years ago. It's a favorite around here and probably gets the most attention from guests that come over. Every year we have been doing a summer bucket list and my kids just absolutely love it. It's simply a way to keep all of our ideas in one place. We never get to all of it, but we have fun trying!
Chalkboard Wall: See Here | How to Clean a Chalk Wall: See Here 

Right off the kitchen is our eating area. The space is always light and bright as it has full length windows near it. I recently blogged about this kitchen table we have had for years. I stained it gray this year, making it the third stain color in its lifetime! Those roses are the prettiest roses I have ever purchased. They are still going strong and just absolutely huge. Fresh flowers and greens make my heart sing!
Chevron Rug: Ballard Designs | Ink Blue Chairs: World Market | Fiddle Leaf Fig: Local Nursery | Coral Pillow: World Market | Blue/white Runner: IKEA | Eat Well Print: See Here | Melamine Tray: Homegoods | DIY Staining Table/Chairs: See Here

Just on the other side of the eating area, we created a small little sitting area. This is a perfect little spot for having coffee and reading a magazine.
Pink Stool: Target | Daisies: Cut from yard | Chair: Homegoods | Lamp: Target | Frames: Homegoods

And just off the mudroom is our home office. This room is always bright and cheery and fun and just feels like summer!
White furniture: IKEA | Desk Chair: Walmart Online Only | Cactus: Home Depot | Ceramic Pot: Target | Black/white artwork: DIY | Lamp: DIY | Blue/white vase: thrifted | & Light: Target | Teal Rug: Rugs USA

On to the living room where the mantel, pillows, and coffee table were tweaked just a bit. I used to decorate with a lot of black and white, and lately I've been into blues and pinks. Those blue/white striped pillows are perfect for summer! Cuttings from my palms make for perfect vase fillers too!

Roses: Trader Joe's | Purple Candlesticks: IKEA | Faux Succulents: Target | Blue/white X benches: Target | Rug: Homegoods | Coffee Table: IKEA | Gold ball lamps: Target | White throw: IKEA | Blue/white pillows: IKEA | Blush pillows: H&M 

Our first floor is open concept, so the living room leads right into the dining room, which is at the front of the house. I still haven't gotten tired of the DIY striped curtains! More plants and cuttings from the yard brighten up the space. I also found a cute (free) pineapple printable and a cute free printable for the bar cart !
Table: West Elm | Chairs: Restoration Hardware | Floral Artwork: Thrifted | Pineapple Print: See Here  | Pink Faux Flowers: Homegoods | Gold Mirror: Kirklands | Striped Curtains: See Here | Summer Beer Printable: See Here

And last, but certainly not least, our outdoor front porch and back patio (separate posts to come on these). We love to eat, read, drink, rock, play, hang with friends, and everything in between in these spaces. We are fortunate to have two covered spaces to block out some of the sun and shield us from the rain!
Sorry for the crazy photo overload! I hope you found something here that inspired you! I hope you will connect with Life Love Larson in some way, shape, or form!

Next up on the tour is the summer tour of Haneen's Haven and listed below is the entire tour with links! Hope your summer is all it should be! xo-Andrea

2016 Summer Home Tour

Monday - June 6

Tuesday - June 7

Wednesday - June 8

Thursday - June 9

Fri - June 10

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

DIY: (Re)Staining Our Kitchen Table

It's been awhile since I've posted about a DIY project, and this one is a long time coming! I restained our kitchen table LAST summer and am just getting around to blogging about it. Yes...last summer. I realize it's pretty pathetic! But better late than never, right? I figure I have to post before this table becomes yet another color or we get a new one!

If you have been reading for a really long time, you will remember this kitchen table has previously been stained by me before. Apparently, I just can't get rid of this table! And I actually have no desire to get rid of it. It functions well, it's sturdy, it seats six, it fits our space. There are a lot more things I would rather purchase for this house, so until I completely tire of it, I will just keep changing it up! You can read all about the first time I stained this table here. The pictures are small and my taste was different, but that's the beauty of home decor. I love looking back to see how things have changed. So, in short, this table has been oak (original), stained a dark walnut (in 2010), and now a gray wash (2015). Wow, this table has been around a while!

Here is the table before. I didn't hate this stain, but we have dark hardwood floors in this house, and it was just too much dark wood. I dragged the table and 4 chairs out to the garage and sanded the heck out of them with a hand sander. I can't remember which grit I used but I know I asked at Home Depot and they were helpful. I wasn't able to get it completely down to the bare wood, but that was okay with me to have some darker spots.
After wiping down the table, I started applying the stain, leaving several hours in between coats. I used Minwax Classic Gray - 271. I watered down the stain because it was looking too dark upon my first initial try. I had to sand it off and start again. Watering down the stain gave it more of a washed look. After I achieved the color I was going for, I applied the poly. I used several coats of this because we use this table daily and it needed good protection.

Lastly, I picked up some new knobs at Homegoods. This table has four drawers that pull out, which we never use, but the knobs are fun to change out. They are almost identical to some Anthropologie ones I was eyeing and I got all 4 of them for $10! I love how they add the finishing little bit of jewelry to the table.
I love the gray wash of the new table. It seems more us! We also added those ink blue chairs to the set a few years ago. I love the color and texture it adds to the table.
You might want to rethink that old table and chairs! A little stain and some new end chairs can really go a long way! xo

Linking up here!

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