Monday, July 21, 2014

Updating A Vanity with A Custom Tile Backsplash

Custom Vanity Backsplash
During my recent trip to the Haven Conference, I stopped by my parents’ house and helped them with a couple of DIY projects they have been waiting to tackle.  One of them was upgrading the builder grade backsplash they had in their master bathroom.

The bathroom is beautiful, but my mom wanted to unite the tile work in the shower with the other side of the room.  Since she had pencil tile leftover from the shower construction, we decided we would use it for a new backsplash.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Ten Brussels Sprout Recipes for People Who Don't Like Brussels Sprouts

10 Recipes for Brussels Sprouts for People Who Don't Like Sprouts (But after this.. they will LOVE THEM!)
Any long term follower of my blog will know I have become a HUGE fan of brussels sprouts, and anyone who knows me in real life knows that is a SHOCKING fact because I am not usually a fan of anything green.

But since I learned a few tricks in preparing them, they are now one of my 'go to' veggies of all time! Yes.. OF ALL TIME!!  Therefore, for today's flashback friday I thought I would share a few awesome Sprout recipes.  Since if you haven't tried them prepared with brown sugar and bacon, well.. you are doing it wrong.

The key to a good sprout is to not have them be mushy.. since mushy is bleck.  Crispy is great (Hey I can even choke down Kale if it is crispy.)

Here is my trick for getting them crispy in the oven:

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

What is Haven? What Makes It Special?

 Phew.. I have finally returned from my extended Haven vacation, and in my typical style I'm late getting my recap post up.   We decided to take a few extra days sightseeing in Washington DC and so I am only getting home now.  Originally I was going to write up my recap earlier, but another experience got in the way (and I'm glad it did.)

Sunday, July 13, 2014

How A Stranger On My Plane Today Changed My Life


I met the most amazing man on the plane today. I am convinced it was fate. On any other day I would never strike up a conversation with the person next to me on an airplane.  I would typically have my kids with me, and would be too preoccupied to find the time to really talk to someone, to listen to their story.

Maybe I would make small talk, ("Hot enough for you?" or "I hope we take off on time")  but that would quickly end, and my nose would soon be buried in my phone or magazine, avoiding the awkwardness of a conversation with a perfect stranger at all costs.  

But today was different.  Today I was alone, returning from a conference filled with meeting new people, so why not meet one more?  Maybe he wouldn't be a talker and I would exchange pleasantries and then enjoy my in-flight beverage without ever giving it a second thought.

But that isn't how it worked out. 

It all started with a simple question: "Where are you headed?" and ended in a two-hour conversation that will change the way I look at obstacles in my own life, both now and in my past.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Sweet Treats Decoden Candy Jar

Decoden Candy JarToday's post is brought to you by Mod Podge (since I really love Mod Podge!) 

Originally popular in Japan, a fun new trend that is becoming catching on in North America right now is Decoden, or the art of decorating with trinkets.  Definitely over the top and full of glitter and sparkles, it is way to ‘bling out’ even the most benign household products.  And now, thanks to Mod Podge Collage Clay you are now able to make your own decoden projects at home.

Here are some examples of typical Decoden projects:
Modpodge collage zps41b65ac4
Because deocoden frequently reflects super-realistic candy, confections and frosting, I decided I would add a decoden touch to a candy jar.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Happy (Blog) Independance Day!

I'm taking the long weekend off from the blog and spent it with my family in order to refresh and recharge.  (A little of my own "independence" from the regular blog posting schedule.)  We did a little hiking and spent some time on the lake, grilled out and just relaxed.  

I also am getting ready for Haven. (Can you believe that is next weekend!)  I am not sure how many new posts will up in the next week or two, since I will be out of town.. but I will try to at least have a few.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Updating and Organizing the Playroom with Flexible Furniture

Playroom with gallery wallThank you to Sauder for sponsoring today's post.  

The most popular room in our house (or the room where we spend the most time) is hands down the family/playroom. It is open onto the kitchen and has the TV and a bunch of the kids toys, so it is where they tend to hang out.

It is also one of the rooms I have never really decorated.

Yes, I did install a gallery wall which features the kids artwork and we bought some generic furniture to fill the space, but I never really did much with the room. I figured it didn't need to be anything more than functional since it was almost always a wreck and nobody ever hung out in there besides the kids.

But then recently I purchased a new rug and my entire perspective changed. After I threw it into the playroom, it suddenly dawned on me that it wouldn't take much to make the room ‘pretty' and there was no need to store all the toys in plain sight. Everything could be disguised. I just needed the right furniture choices to do that.

So it was fate when Sauder offered to send me something from their website to help update any room in my house.. It was the answer to my problems!

Here is a photo of the room after I added the new rug:
Kids room before
You can see all the toys stacked in the corner, and the seats clustered around the TV. Toys were stored in the open, and there was a little craft table in the corner that was nothing more than a clutter catcher. Not exactly glamorous. So my furniture choice had to provide me a way of hiding stuff while still keeping it accessible.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Patriotic Front Door

Hard to believe this weekend is the Fourth of July!  I wanted to quickly show you how my front door looks this year, in honor of the red, white and blue.

My burlap stars have been a huge hit on Pinterest, and so I decided I would feature them along the front sidelight window.  I actually decided to make a couple more, since I wanted an odd number.
Here is the full tutorial on how I made them.

I also threw together a quick wreath for the door, which I made from dollar store carnations and the leftover burlap from the stars project:



Lastly, I filled an Ikea lantern with some old wired star garland I had in my craft supplies and added some red and white flowers.


It is definitely a festive entrance to the house and the neighbors know we celebrate Independance Day!

So, are you ready for the big holiday weekend?  Any big plans?