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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Spring is in the.........bathroom

      With the rain pitter pattering on the roof last night I could almost imagine, as I lay there in bed, that it was a warm spring night instead of awaiting the forcasted ice storm. {Which never really made it, by the way!} Now that we've all but made it through February, I am so ready to spring things up a bit around here! One of my favorite little areas to change with the seasons is in my bathroom. Let's face it, this room gets a lot of traffic! We might as well make it a room we {dare I say} enjoy frequenting.

     I keep my bathroom seasonal decor in a small basket in my linen closet so that it literally takes only a few minutes to change things out.

My kids found this nest a few years ago and they love seeing it out every spring

     This year I added the spring bunting that was made from layering drop cloth fabric over some burlap, gluing it to twine and hanging it on the shelf.

        We painted the bathroom cabinet last spring and it just dawned on me that I haven't shown you the befores and afters of this. I will get to this soon!
         So what areas in your home have you springified yet? {OK so maybe its not a real word, but it works! ;)}  On a deeper level, I love the subtle reminders of spring being about new life, and about the new life we have in Christ when we put our faith in Him. He is the only one that can take a tired, dried up life and make something new out of it! Praise the Lord!

     Happy Spring!

I'm linking up here:
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Not Just a Housewife
Coastal Charm
DIY by Design
Chatty Chics 
Its Overflowing 
At the Picket Fence 
Tater Tots and Jello
Skip to my Lou
the Lettered Cottage

Saturday, February 25, 2012

HomeGoods Finds

         I shared with you last time about my fun trip to IKEA and HomeGoods. Because my back has left me out of commission this week and I've not accomplished aught, I decided to take the easy way out and show you a few more of the great things I found. You know its one thing to see a great object on a shelf and another completely to successfully incorporate it into the items you already have and make it look like it belongs.

         My favorite picture in my house is this cherry blossom branch I found at Marshall's a year or so ago. I love it for the colors and the reminder {in the midst of winter} that Spring is coming!

      When I was at HomeGoods last week I found this same picture but in a larger longer version. Now, used in the same room it would lose its impact and just seem weird {for lack of a better term}, but used in my dining room, it helps to maintain flow throughout the main floor of the house. And it brings some much needed color to this spot in the dining room.

     I'm tempted to bring in some of that blue-y green color by painting the mirror frame again! I still love the restfulness of the off white though, we'll see.

   Another find was this cake stand in the fresh aqua color that we incorporated into our kitchen redo. 
Originally I had this creamy colored one, but have since replace it with the fresher looking one. I like both looks but this at least gives me some variety. ;)

     Earlier in the week I showed you the spring shelves update with a few of my other fave finds. I'm a sucker for white teapots.

And even if I never use an egg cup for its intended purpose, these are still super cute!

     Oh to have a HomeGoods in this area!

     Thank you for indulging me in this lazy post! Prayers are appreciated for a quick healing. I don't make a good shut-in!

I'm linking up here:

Monday, February 20, 2012

A Little Bit of Spring! {Shelf styling basics}

          First, I have to confess that this is the longest I've gone without posting! Once I got over the guilt of it all I was fine. We had such a busy week, plus illnesses that my creative juices just weren't flowing. In spite of the crazy week, I was able to go to IKEA and HomeGoods {about 2 & 1/2 hours away} on Saturday with a good friend of mine. Let me tell you, I NEEDED this trip! I had NEVER been to a HomeGoods before and was practically giddy by the time we arrived! So much great stuff!!! My sweet hubby gave me some extra money for my birthday just for the trip and boy did I have fun!

          So, now that I'm back in the saddle again, {and with some new great accessories in hand} I decided to spruce up my hutch cabinet. Let me show you the hot mess that is the before:

      Once I cleared the shelves, I decided to take some notes as I went along on how style shelves. I'm sure that there are many great techniques out there but here's how I do it:

1)     Start with a blank canvas. Too many times before I will try to update my look by just moving a few things around. For me this doesn't work because things just gravitate back to where they began. By starting fresh {its easier to dust} you have a new perspective and room to move things about a bit.

 2)     Balance is Key! Achieve balance through the height of your objects and the colors you use. My main color choices were white, variations of teal and brown. These colors are evenly dispersed throughout my display. And although the height of my objects vary, the placement of them provides the balance.

 3)     Add texture! You know I'm a big fan of texture. Texture is key to creating that homey home. In this display, texture comes from the baskets, the bundled sticks on top of the books, the wooden scrabble letters in the jar, my little Goodwill lettuce plate, even the twine around the glass jar with the candle. Texture is more subtly evident in the contrast of textures from the smooth class vase to the bumpy design on the canisters.

 4) Add Layers! Adding layers is as simple as putting a larger item behind a smaller one.

     OK, so now I have to show you some of my shopping trip finds!  I'm loving these little egg cups I found at HomeGoods. Seriously, who actually uses egg cups for eggs? But aren't they cute? And with a little boost from some tissue, they work great for some small candles.

     This is my fave find from IKEA:

     My husband is sure thankful that these stores aren't local! ;) I got quite a few things more but it never ceases to amaze me that after filling my cart {and expecting that I totally blew my budget} I found that I was quite a bit under budget! I love a great deal!!!

I'm linking up here:

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Slip Covered Filing Cabinet

    With space in our home going at a premium these days, all of our rooms have to perform many functions. So let me introduce you to our Living Room/Office!

     Can you see it there in the corner, just peeking out from under the lamp? Its our filing cabinet {a.k.a.The big ugly}. Let me show you what I mean.

     For a while now I have tried to disguise big ugly with a kitchen towel and some books, but this look was doing no one any favors.

     The moment I brought it into the living room {because it was of no use in the back of the closet, and I needed better access}, I knew I had to do something to disguise this thing. I thought about painting it but was scared off by the bit of rust on the top and I didn't want it to stand out. The goal was disguise.

     I'm a huge fan of drop cloths and decided to make a slip cover out of this fabric for my filing cabinet. {If you use a drop cloth make sure you wash, dry and iron it first that way you can wash your slip cover in the future without fear of it shrinking. Here's how it turned out:

     Aaahhhhhh! Mas Mejor! {Much Better}

     If you want to make one of your own, its really simple. In fact I followed these same steps a few years ago to cover an ugly end table I had at the time.

     First, measure for your 5 panels {4 sides and 1 top}. Give yourself a half inch seam allowance on each side. You will hem each of your panels on 3 sides {the sides and bottom}. If you are going to use ties, measure up from the bottom where you want them to go and pin them in.

     I sewed back and forth over the ribbon when I sewed up my seam just for reinforcement 3 times.

     Once your 4 side panels are done, pin them like you would a slip cover, inside out on your filing cabinet.

     Once everything lines up well, stitch her up! And that's all there is to it!

     When I want to do my filing, I can untie the ties and lift up the flap. And no one needs to know that this room serves as my office as well! ;)

I'm linking up here:

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Yummy Cashew Chicken!

     Let's be clear right from the start; this is not a cooking blog! That being said, I will only share a recipe if its original and super yummy! I am a very picky eater! {I like to think of myself as just having a sensitive pallette} I'm not a huge fan of the whole vegetable family {in fact I am allergic to almost all fresh veggies~but I can have them cooked}. So it took some playing around to come up with a Chinese recipe that I actually love! Ooh, and it is sooooooo good!

     Before I go through the recipe let me just say that if you are not as picky as I am, I've been told that things like mushrooms and broccoli might be good additions too.

     Here's what you'll need to get started:

          1 cup cashews {whole or pieces}
          Olive oil
          3-4 chicken breasts, thawed and cut in pieces
          1-2 stalks {or bunches} of green onion cut in 1-inch pieces
          A large handful of pea pods {we like the sugar snap variety}
          1-teaspoon ginger root {it comes in a little 4 ounce jar in the produce section}


    For the sauce wisk the following ingredients together before you start anything else and set aside:

          4 T Soy Sauce
          4 T Red wine
          2 t sugar
          2 t corn starch
          1/4-1/2 t crushed red pepper

     Now you are ready to begin!

1)     Add a few tablespoons of olive oil to your pan {or wok} and turn your heat on high. Stir fry your cashews until lightly toasted or about 1 minute. Remove from pan and set aside.

2)     To your hot pan, throw in 1 teaspoon of ginger root. Watch out because it will snap and sizzle! Stir this for 15 seconds and then add your veggies {that have been rinsed and chopped if needed}. Stir fry these for about 3 minutes until they are crisp and brighter in color. Then remove these all from the pan and set them aside as well.

3)     By now you don't have any olive oil left in your pan so add a few tablespoons more to lightly coat your pan then add your chicken and cook till they're done.

Sorry for the raw chicken picture, turn away if you are squeemish!

4)     Once your chicken is cooked all the way through, push the chicken out to the sides of your pan and pour your sauce into the center. You are going to want to stir this consistently so that your sauce thickens evenly.

5)     Once the sauce is thickened, add your veggies and cashews and heat it through for just about a minute or two.

Oh, Im getting hungry just looking at it!
6)    Serve over rice and enjoy!

     If you have any leftovers, be sure and send some my way! I hope you enjoy this!

I'm linking up here:
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