Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Master Bedroom Makeover

Guess who has a new master bedroom? Mua. Muah...Moi? Cursed French. It's MEEEE! The long story made short is....my husband turned our previous master bedroom into a home gym. He put the treadmill, weights cage, free weights, benches, etc. in the bedroom so he doesn't have to work out in the freezing cold garage this winter. I know, I'm such a nice wife. But I'm totally happy because our master bedroom had turned into sort of a "catch all" room. Random mismatched bookshelves, storage bins, guitar amps and guitars...you name it, it was probably in our room somewhere. I wanted a room that FELT like a bedroom, ya know? So, I'm TOTALLY not complaining. We moved the girls in together (which they are LOVING) and we moved the master bedroom into Whitney's "old" room. Would you like to see what I did?


First, there was finding a paint color. I wanted something that was in between brown and gray. I chose Better Homes and Gardens 814 Earthy Stoneware. This color ended up PERFECT. Exactly what I imagined! I really wanted some contrast with the white and light robin egg blue.

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I wanted something like the hotels have now for bedding...the white coverlet that they just fold the sheets over. I love that it looks so crisp and clean and that it's easy to just throw in the wash.
I got this nice set from Target for around $50. I love climbing into a crisp clean bed!

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I made each of the pillows accept for the brown one...(I can't even imagine how long it would take to make the brown one! *GAG*)

All of the fabrics are Premier Print fabrics from Fabric.com. I absolutely LOVE the giant shabby rosette pillows! OH! And do you want to know how I got the size for the blue pillows? All I did was cut a normal queen sized pillow in half and sewed the edge closed! It makes a perfect longer rectangle size. DON'T cut a pillow full of feathers in half...just FYI. Not that I did it or anything...*giggle*

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I also covered an old canvas that I had with the fabric and stenciled on a "B". The frames were SOOO easy, too! I just took some old frames and took out the backing and glass and made a bunch of shabby fabric rosettes. Then, I glued them to the frame and that's it! I LOVE, LOVE, LOOOOVE my shabby rosette frames!

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Annnnd, that's it! An easy, inexpensive change up for a BEAUTIFUL bedroom.

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Linked up to:
Tip  Junkie handmade projects

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Ballard Cork Board Knock Off

I have been drooling over the latest Ballard catalog. I have been wanting one of their big cork boards for FOREVER. But...at $300 it just isn't possible. Or is it? Wait...IT IS! I just have to make my own!

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I've been on the prowl for a big cork board and chunky frame all summer. The thrift store hasn't had any. Then, yesterday my mom called me from down the street, "Hey, Nat! There's a garage sale down here on the corner, you should come check it out!"

So, I did. And guess what I found. For 50 cents. That's right, 50 cents! Pretend you didn't notice it's upside down. And, they had a big cork board for $2, too! Talk about jackpot!

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So, I ripped out the picture. Then, I took it out to spray paint it with Krylon Ivory Gloss. While it was drying I removed the cork board from it's frame and cut the board to the same size as the picture. Then, I stuck the cork board piece in it and......TA DAAAH! My very own beauuutiful cork board.

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I love it. Like...a lot. Take that, Ballard!!! And I'll keep my $297.50, thank you very much.


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This project was SOOO easy! And SO inexpensive! Stay on the lookout and you'll find just what you're looking for!

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Linked up to:
Nifty Thrifty Things
Tatertots and Jello
Little Rays of Sunshine
The Girl Creative
Making the World Cuter
Family Ever After
DIY Home Sweet Home

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Platter Platter On The Wall...

I have been doing a little "updating" in our dining room. I have been trying to find some nice wall decorations for our dining room and it has been so frustrating! But...I think I finally found something I like! I've been seeing a lot of nice wall collages going up lately, and I wanted to do something similar. So, off to the thrift store I went and spent about $8 on random plates, frames and platters. Now, the cool thing about these plates and platters is that they are PLASTIC. So, there will be less mess if they fall off of the wall. Nothing has fallen so far...*crossing fingers*.

I really love how it all turned out. I spray painted everything in Krylon Ivory Gloss. (Remember how much I love Krylon spray paint???) Then, I put that Scotts Wall Mounting Tape on the backs of the plates and platters and stuck them to the wall.

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This is my favorite piece of the collage...a pretty wall...sconce...thing. I drool over the details every time I look at it.

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THAT'S IT! Oh how I love easy peasy beautiful! (Dude...that totally sounded like that "easy breezy beautiful, COVERGIRL commercial! HAHAH!)


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Linked up to:
Thrifty Decorating
Tatertots and Jello
Nifty Thrifty Things
Little Rays of Sunshine
Making The World Cuter
DIY Home Sweet Home

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The BEST Homemade Granola Recipe!

Hey y'all! I'm back from the wedding, my nicely wrapped gift made it safely to the new bride and groom's apartment and I have an AWESOME recipe for you today!

I don't know about you, but this whole economy thing has been kinda sorta freaking me out. I've been trying to be a lot more frugal with things, and especially trying to learn how to cook with our food storage so I don't have to be trying to learn while I'm under a lot of stress the world is ending and don't know what the heck I'm doing.

Food storage, you ask? Yup. I'm talking wheat, beans, rice, dehydrated and freeze dried fruits and vegetables, powdered milk (gag), oats...stuff like that. I am LDS, and our church leaders of have advised us to have at least a years supply of food storage so that we are prepared. (It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark, ya know?) I've been working on building ours up for about 5 years now. I could do an ENTIRE week of posts on food storage, maybe later. Right now, I'm hungry. (Though, if you would be interested in some posts on food storage, what to get, where to get it, how much you need per person, how to store it, etc. let me know!)

So, ANYWAYYYYY...I decided to make homemade granola yesterday. I have to say, it turned out AMAZING! Granola can be really expensive! At Safeway it's around $4 a box. A little box at that. I made about 7 cups of it for around $1. No joke. And it tasted SOOOO much better than the store bought granola with all sorts of random preservatives and who knows what in it! Now, aren't you just dying for the recipe? :)

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HEEEERE YOU GO!

Honey Coconut Granola

4 C. rolled oats
1 C. whole wheat flour (you can use white, too...)
3/4 C. honey OR
1 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (it just gives it more of a maple-ish flavor)
(heck...maybe you could try half honey and half maple syrup! Mmmmm!)
1 C. coconut
1/4 C. cooking oil
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. chopped pecans (optional)

Thoroughly mix together. Spread on a cookie sheet, bake at 300 degrees for 25 minutes stirring occasionally while baking.

You can also add things like sesame seeds, cinnamon, chopped almonds, raisins, etc. but add the raisins AFTER you bake it or it'll be like eating raisin flavored rocks. And we ALL know that eating raisin flavored rocks is no fun.

The best part is that granola is so versatile! It's not just for breakfast. You can put in on parfaits or use it as an ice cream topping! You can even use it as cobbler topping in your dutch ovens. Man, I love this stuff. Oh man. I'm starving. I think I'll go have a snack, and I'll bet you can't guess what it is. :)

ENJOY, my sweet little granola munchers!


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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Just Say NO to BOWS! {BEAUTIFUL GIFT-WRAPPING}

Ladies and Gentlemen, the days of boring gift-wrapping are over. Just say NO to BOWS! Who knew gift-wrapping could be so much fun!?! I didn't.


I had originally bought a GIANT bow at Dollar Tree, thinking that it would do just fine. But as I pulled off the sticky tape from the back, I just couldn't bring myself to put it on the box. I knew there had to be a better way. So, I searched "gift-wrapping" in Pintrest....OH MERCY ME. (If you haven't done that yet, do it.)

I ended up doing THIS instead:

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and a close up....

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Everything I needed I already had on hand. Wrapping paper, ribbon, fabric strips, cute buttons, mesh stuff, beads/pearls, a gluegun/gluesticks and a crystal thing from Walmart. (It comes in a package of 20 or so in the craft/floral section).

You can do it, too! There are SO many possibilities! Now, get out your scraps and glue gun, put away the usual sticky-back bows and get creative!

For my tutorial on how to make the fabric rosettes on the gift, click HERE.

Now...how do I get this box through a 10 hour trip to Utah without it being destroyed??? Hmmmmmm. :/

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Linked up to:
Thrifty Decorating
Tatertots and Jello
Nifty Thrifty Things
Making the World Cuter
DIY Home Sweet Home

Monday, August 15, 2011

Anthropologie Inspired Wedding Gifts

First of all, if you are by brother Matt or future SIL Jessica STOP READING NOW!!! Or, keep reading and PRETEND to be surprised when you open your wedding present, a'ight?

Now, for the rest of you, here's the scoop. My little brother is getting married this weekend. I still can't believe it! He grew up waaaay too fast. But, I am so excited for him, and I absolutely adore his fiancé. He picked a REALLY great girl and she's going to be a FABULOUS addition to the family! So...then comes the hard part. What is harder than finding something to wear to the wedding? ANSWER: The perfect wedding present. Remember how we live in the little tiny middle of nowhere place with nowhere to shop other than Walmart? Well, they aren't registered at Walmart...and honestly, our little valley Walmart is pretty pathetic. SOOOO, what is a girl to do!?! Especially when there is no Anthropologie here? And that's the style they like? Well. I'll tell you. HELLOOOO KNOCKOFFS! So...are you ready to see some nice shabby chic goodness? Good. :)

It all started off with an ugly gold-ish frame. However, it had great details and lots of potential. A little paint and creativity turned it into THIS:


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(Just choose a base color, paint it, let it dry, and then choose an accent color and lightly go over the details and edges to make it look shabby. That's it!)

I love creating things because it's something that nobody else has. Which, is da bomb. And all that.

So then I had this knob...hanging....thing (really, I don't know what it's called) that was pink and on clearance from Hobby Lobby (thanks, Mom!) and I fixed it up into THIS:

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She can use it to hang necklaces or scarves or whatever she wants. I am SOOO incredibly tempted to keep it for myself. Sigh. But, I already have one. And it's in their wedding invitation colors. Hopefully she'll like the set. Annnd, maybe it will inspire her on how to decorate their bedroom. I'm picturing something like THIS:


And, I'm going to make them a matching throw pillow now. Out of THIS fabric (which is on sale at fabric.com!)


Annnnnd, that's the awesomeness of keeping an eye out for things that have potential. Look for cute details and use your imagination! This whole set only cost about $7. That's including the pillow! (You did not just read that, Matt and Jessica....what I meant to say was $70.)

Now, get out there to your local thrift store or garage sale and get crazy! :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The "H" word.

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School is about to start. The good part about this is that I will no longer see this face. Okay, that didn't come out right...what I meat was I will no longer see this LOOK. I will indeed see this sweet little face EVERY.SINGLE.DAY of the school year because I homeschool. What I won't see is the "Mommmmm, I'm bored" face. Follow?

I'm kind of nervous about this school year. Last year, I just homeschooled Whitney. This year I have Whitney AND Aaron who is starting Kindergarten. Don't get me wrong, I love homeschooling, but it's a lot of work. And I never get tired of the looks from people when I tell them I homeschool. Why? Because I can just imagine what is going through their heads when they hear the word HOMESCHOOL. It probably looks something like this: (watch it...you won't regret it!!!)



(I never get tired of that video! It's hilarious!)

I never thought in a million years that I would ever homeschool...I thought homeschooled kids were weird. I thought homeschool parents were even WEIRDER. But, my oldest daughter, Whitney has health problems and I didn't feel comfortable having her so far away. If she died at school I would never forgive myself. So, I did Kindergarten with her at home. I didn't use any particular program or set of books, I used a bunch of different things. And to my surprise, I actually REALLY enjoyed it! With 1st grade, I felt we needed more structure. So, after a lot of prayer and searching, I decided on doing the K12.com program.

K12 is actually an online public school. (yes, that's right, PUBLIC school!) It's free, it's accredited, and it is individualized to your student. They send you all of your books, supplies, and even a computer for your child (yes, it's all free)! You are assigned a homeroom teacher who you keep in close contact with for questions and such, and you meet with them a few times a year for testing to make sure your child is where they are supposed to be academically. They still have things like field trips, but instead of riding on a bus up to the museum or the zoo or wherever it is, you go as a family and get to meet other families from K12. And, they have fun things like pen pal programs, and in the summer they have field trips to Elitch Gardens at half price! It really is a neat school!

What do I like about homeschooling?

I don't have to be up before sunrise to drag them out of bed, get them dressed, make their lunches, get them to the bus stop, and if they MISS the bus I don't have to drive them to school and worry about them being tardy.

I love that we can start whenever we're ready. We don't have to start at 8:00 sharp. If we feel like starting an hour late, we can.

I love that I get to be the one to see the excitement on their faces when they understand something.

I love that we have a homeroom teacher (whom we ADORE) so I'm not doing this all on my own with nobody to turn to for questions.

I love that God is allowed at school. 'Nuff said.

(Whitney wants me to add that she likes not having to worry about bullies...)

I love that it's not a big deal to miss a day if they're sick. (And honestly, I do love that I don't have to worry about them bringing home whatever is going around school)

I love that we can go on family trips or field trips whenever we want! We don't have to worry about missing school, we can take school with us!

I love that we can get all of their school work done in about 4 hours, instead of them having an 8 hour day. Things go a lot faster when you don't have to wait for the rest of the class to finish. ;)

I love that it is so structured. I just look online at the class schedule for the day at what needs to be done, I get them started, I help them when they need help, and when they finish it I mark it as completed. That's it.

I love that the kids take a little assessment test at the end of each lesson to make sure they understand what they were supposed to learn. If they don't pass it, we go over the lesson again and re-take it. I always know they are ready to move on.

I love that our day is so flexible. If they need a break or are really having a difficult time, we can stop and take a breather and then give it another try. And, if they need to spend more time on something, they can. Or, if something is really easy for them, we can move on faster. The school is built around your child, not your child built to the school.

I love the way the school teaches. Part of the class is workbook activities, and the other part is online. They usually have fun interactive games and things for them to do. Like, when we were learning about the ocean, they got to play a simulated submarine game to explore the ocean. There were sea creatures they could click on to learn more about them. And the deeper they went into the ocean, the darker it got and the cooler the creatures were. It was fun even for ME! :)

I love just being able to be with my kids. I love KNOWING what they are learning and not having to worry about them being taught something I don't agree with. (Especially with everything going on these days!)

These are just a FEW of the things I like about homeschooling. I'm not saying that I think public school is bad...I think there are so many awesome things about public school, and I think the WORLD of teachers. They are amazing! And, I know it's not for everyone. Annnnd, I don't know what my future holds, but I feel very blessed that I am able to homeschool them for now.

So, anywayyyy, if you are interested in using K12 with your family, you can learn more at K12.com! I'm not even getting paid for this...that's how much I love it!


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Friday, August 5, 2011

I'm Baaack!


Oh my gosh, I swear I'm still here!

First, our hard drive on our computer died. (Second time in 1 year! AAARGH!) So, we've been without a computer for a while. I lost ALLLLL of my pictures, and it still makes me want to throw up when I think about it. We even bought an external hard drive about a year ago. It's still in it's box. Lesson learned. If you buy an external hard drive to back up your stuff...USE IT. *smacking forehead against computer monitor*

Then, I was gone because my beloved Grandpa passed away. That was an emotional roller coaster because every day my Dad would call and say "today will probably be the day...I just can't imagine he will last much longer." He did this every day for a week! My Grandpa had a big strong heart...and I'm sure it was using Energizer batteries. It was a bittersweet occasion, half of me is so sad that he isn't here anymore, yet the other half of me is so relieved and happy for him. He suffered from Parkinson's Disease, and while his mind was still so alive, he was trapped in a body that prevented him from saying all of the wonderful things he wanted to say or doing the the things he wanted to do. It was heartbreaking. I don't know what I would do without the gospel of Jesus Christ....knowing that families are FOREVER and that I will see him again. I know he'll be watching over us and looking in on us from time to time...it's not the end of his book, just the beginning of another chapter. And it was nice to get back up to Utah to see everyone. My Grandma has been so strong through all of this, she is such an amazing woman. I am so blessed to be part of such an incredible family!

I don't remember the last time we had a family picture. And my dad had to hold me up because my heels were sinking into the grass! P.S...that is the last time I will EVER wear high heels to a funeral. *OUCH*

ANNNNND, I've been busy painting. We turned our master bedroom into a "home gym" because our garage is so friggin hot in the summer, and FREEEZING in the winter. So, we moved the girls in together (they are LOVING sharing a room!) and we moved the master bedroom into Whitney's old room. I was kind of sad to paint over the cute bedroom colors, but I love the way our new master bedroom turned out! Pictures to come soon! I just have to hang all the wall decorations and stuff.

So...stay tuned!


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