Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Great Summer Reading (An Alternate to Fifty Shades of Grey)

I'll admit it, I read the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy.

All three books in 5 days. What can I say? Once I started I was both so repulsed and disturbed and sucked in all at the same time that I felt I had to finish.

If you are related to me, do not read these books. If for nothing else than that I can't have you know the type of smutty images that I now have in my mind. Not really what I want, totally not my style,

I do love a good romance novel, a nice escape from reality, predicatable enough to not give me nightmares, and easy enough that I'm in and out (pardon the expression) in a day or two.

So if you are looking for an alternative to this:

Might I suggest a few altermatives?

I'm a sucker for historical romances, you can even find my pre-Kindle collection of paperbacks spine-side in on my kitchen mantle.


Thankfully, the Kindle was invented so now you don't have to know what I'm reading. It might be something of quality like East of Eden:

Or some modern chick lit like Seating Arrangements:

Or a summer blockbuster novel like The Age of Miracles: A Novel:

Although, now that my Kindle is chipped, I might have to get a new one. It was the original version, introduced on Oprah (remember that?). At this point it looks like an industrial design relic.

This summer I've been having the best luck with Georgette Heyer. She wrote historical romances set in regency England (my personal favorite period), but she wrote in the 1930's so the books are just as fun, romantic, mysterious and engrossing, but they end with a simple kiss. Nice and chaste while giving me all the plot that I like. Here are my two favorites, The Grand Sophy and Frederica.

This list contains affiliate links. As always, I actually own all of these, so I feel good about sending you over to Amazon to buy them:)

Make sure to stop by yesterday's post about how to paint a nightstand and stencil the tabletop for your chance to win a stencil up to $50 value.

What are you reading this summer?


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Monday, July 30, 2012

Spray Painting and Stenciling the Guest Room Nightstand (Blogging Without Borders) and a giveaway!

stenciled nightstand top

When we last left off, I had gone on a polka dot spree on the feature wall in the guest room. I'm in love with the fun confetti wall treatment that I created with vinyl decal polka dots. Now it was time to tackle the nightstand. Just like when I spray painted my daughter's nightstand, I did the same here, painting the body white, and "dipping" the feet green.



                      diy nightstand transformation

Close up of the feet.

paint dipped colored feet on a nightstand

Then I was approached by Cutting Edge Stencils. They offered me a free stencil (yes, please, where do I sign?) and the chance to host a giveaway for one stencil up to $50 in value (with free shipping). So it's a win-win. Win for me, I get to try something I've never done before, and win for you, my readers, since you have the chance to get yourself some awesome stuff.

I selected the Aladdin small craft stencil, since I knew I wasn't prepared enough to stencil an entire wall, especially after all that work two weeks ago.

Having never stenciled before, I was super happy to find the Cutting Edge Stencil YouTube How-To Video. Let's just say I needed a bit of a visual before I could get right to work. They also have a blog, which offers more tips and tricks and ideas for projects.

I dug out some green acrylic craft paint, perfect for stenciling since you can just clean up any mistakes with water. Then I used spary adhesive on the back of the stencil before adhereing it to the top of my nightstand.

First I tries using a stenciling brush, but I quickly realized that would take me all day.

So I switched to a small foam roller and boy, did it get done quickly. Like so fast that the kids (who were watching me) didn't even have time to start whining!

using  foam roller to stencil a tabletop

After I let it dry, I sprayed it with a low VOC top-coat so that the pretty part won't chip off.

how to stencil a tabletop


And in the room it looks even better.

I let me kids take these pictures, so they are clearly from a three year old's perspective.

And there is a baby block in the pink basket if you look closely.

Ok, so now that you've sen what I did, enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below for your chance to win a stencil from Cutting Edge Stencils (sorry, only US residents)!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please check out my lovely friends who are also challenging themselves to do something new and different.

Amy from Buffalo Roam
Cassie from Primitive and Proper
Dana from Crafted Niche
Debbie from ReFresh ReStyle
Heidi from Decor & More
Holly from Life as a Thrifter
Jaime from Crafty, Scrappy, Happy
Jessica from Stay at Home-ista (That's me!)
Karah from the space between
Kelly from View Along the Way
Kirby from Kirb Appeal
Laura from Top This Top That
Shannon from Fox Hollow Cottage
Tisha from Delectable Home

I was provided with a free stencil in exchange for writing this post and hosting this giveaway. And it is awesome! I might be a stencil-addict now:)


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Friday, July 27, 2012

Office Update- and a pretty new canvas

Ikea cowhide rug in a masculine office

I realized this week with my mother in law visiting, that my "office" just wasn't cutting it. It has glass doors to the play area which means I am still available for all that pesky mommy-ing that kids under 5 need. Like a million snacks a day, "I just fed you!" Anyway, I took over my husband's office for a few hours, it was heaven, quite, at the top of the house so they were too lazy to trek up all the stairs, and there is a TV in there! So I could watch trash tv while blogging. Now that is a mini-staycation:)

Unfortunately, his office needs a bit of improvement when it comes to seating and style, so we are in the process of sprucing it up. Since it's at the top of the house (look back at this office sneak peek to see all the stairs he climbs to get there), it's not really a man cave, maybe a man attic?

You know how when you are procrastinating doing something instead of doing nothing you will just go full-force towards something else? That's pretty much what happened to me while I was trying to avoid for as long as humanly possible, adding fabric to the curtains in the guest bedroom so that they reach the floor. I'm not a sewer, and I'm even intimidated by fabric of any kind, even with the promise of easy iron-on hem tape.

Anyways.... I was offered a free sign or banner from BuildASign.com. But other than our penchant for hanging up giant flags in front of the house, I couldn't really see advertising the blog outside:) Good thing for me, my mother raised me to be polite, and I found out that they are the parent company for easycanvasprints.com! A free 11x14 canvas print, no shipping? Yes, yes please. That I can use.

So as a homage to my initial idea of a sign out front, we ordered a canvas of our house with the flag outside.

This is an incredibly round-a-bout way of telling you that we wanted something for my husband's office. So that not-so-little photo canvas, seen here with pics of our kids, led to ordering a sofa. Since we designed the house and general contracted it ourselves, it is pretty much our fourth child. Except that the process started before we had our first daughter and lasted until halfway through my pregnancy with out third:)

easycanvas.com house photo on canvas

That empty space below is where the sofa will go.

Then we were in Ikea (also known as shopping mecca) when I spotted their selection of hide rugs. People, I tell you I could not wait another minute to have one. And my husband who is usually super against layering rugs on top of carpet loved the idea of the hide for his office. So away we came with it!
Ikea cowhide rug in a masculine office

Here "we" are moving one of the giant 4x4 expedit shelving units from one side of the room to the other.

moving an Ikea Expedit unit while still full

Do you think he'd notice if I left the canvas of our house up next to the TV? It looks so nice there:)

Using an Ikea Expedit as a TV stand


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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Baskets in the Dining room. Where else do you store your scooters?

These amazing baskets are from Target and even have handy little chalkboard labels already attached ot them in case you don't know what you put inside. As you can see, that's not really an issue for us!

Our dining room opens right out to the deck, so even though it may look like a more formal space, in a house with three kids under 5, every space is a kid space.

The kids love to ride bikes and scooters, and our deck provides them a safe spot to do just that. I try to avoid them running into our diy patio garden, or our new bougainvillea, but other than that, there are good to go.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Butterfly Art with a Photo Center

butterfly art with a photo

You know when you own something and you want to make sure you use it enough that you can start to decrease the cost per wear? Or the cost per use? So if you buy a cheap skirt but only wear it once it still costs you more per use than if you buy a really nice one but wear it all the time?

I'm applying that concept to my craft supplies as well.

After making some Butterfly Art that I passed on to a few blog friends, my daughter wanted one for her butterfly bedroom as well.

butterfly craft with magazine pages

Of course she also wanted a picture in it. So I used a scallop punch, which I had planned to use for my son's construction birthday party but never did, so I needed to use it to decrease the cost per use, clearly:) Oh, I did use it to make paper berries for the paper plate fruit baskets. So there, I've now used it twice.

We punched out a picture of the two of them pretending to eat my tiffany blue birthday cake.

The process is pretty easy, punch out colorful magazine pages in your favorite shape, then glue onto a piece of card stock and frame. Easy peasy.

Now if only I could get it off the kitchen counter and into her room! I see it every day since it's next to the glass candy dish from my grandmother where I keep my car keys.

Do you have anything that hasn't quite lived up to it's cost per use?


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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Summer Green Smoothie

Yup, I just realized that this smoothie is pretty much the same as the baby food we give our daughter, but that's the point, right? Sneaking veggies in with something sweet:)

banana spinach strawberry smoothie

So easy- put ice (5-6 cubes), 1/2 a banana, a handful of spinach and a handful of strawberries in a blender with about 1/2  cup of water and mix. Done. You can even omit the strawberries and it's still sweet, or add in other fruits.

Our baby won't even give the messiest toy ever grimace, she will grace us with a full-on smile for this one!

And no, we don't give it to her outside in the backyard, I just like adding gratuitous kid-pictures to my posts, hi family!!!


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Sunday: I Heart NaptimeNifty Thrifty ThingsIt's Overflowing Monday: Delectable HomeC.R.A.F.T.  DIY ShowoffBetween Naps on the PorchThrifty Decor ChickDebbie Doo'sHome Stories A to ZEvolution of Style Tuesday: Coastal CharmNest for LessTip JunkieMy Uncommon Slice of SuburbiaA Bowl Full of LemonsGet Your Craft OnKurtz Corner,  Centsational Girl Primitive and Proper  Wednesday: Savvy Southern StyleOrganize and Decorate,  Mommy SolutionsPower of PaintNewlyweds Recipe LinkySouthern Lovely , Home Happy HomeCrafty Sasse WednesdayGingersnap CraftsA Crafty Soiree  Thursday: The Shabby Creek CottageMade in a DayHouse of Hepworthsthe 36th Avenue,  Crafty, Scrappy, Happy52 Mantels Friday: Making LemonadeBlissful and DomesticOne Artsy MamaSerenity NowTatertots and JelloThe Shabby NestThirty Handmade DaysAddicted 2 DecoratingFunky Junk InteriorsFinancial FridayFurniture FridayAt the Picket FenceThe Rooster and the HenClassy Clutter
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