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Friday, February 28, 2014

Welcome to the Neighborhood!

YAY!  My brother moved back to Iowa, and that makes me VERY HAPPY!
He has been serving our country in the ARMY for about 12 years now, and we have missed having him around. 
To welcome him to his new digs (rental property) We put together a very simple and cute Housewarming Gift.   
 Welcome mat from Dollar General - super cute in the bright chevron print.  I thought the colors were so bright and fun.  The towels and potholders also came from Dollar General.  - I think I may have found a hidden shopping gem!!!!! 
I also threw in some cleaning products - when you move into a new property - you always want to make sure its nice and clean starting out!!! 
Scrubbing Bubbles 2 pack came from Target as well as the Soft Scrub. 
I rolled all the goodies up into the mat, tied it up with a ribbon = rug taco - fixin's of cleaning products and a touch of cotton. 

Cute and easy little welcome to your new house! 
I am seriously so happy that he is here.  It's so nice to have your family all in one place! 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Springfully Delightful Dining Decor

ok, ok, I get it Mother Nature... you are soooo not interested in allowing Spring to come to Iowa anytime soon...
My Hubby reminded me of the saying this morning... "In like a Lion out like a Lamb" .  *SIGH* & *eyerooooooooolllllll*

However.... I am rebelling against Mother Nature... and I am saying that Spring will be here before we know it... and darn-it... I am getting ready for it... because my soul needs for it to be spring...

To further the adventure in spring decorating.... I wanted to spruce up our dining room a little bit with some pops of spring colors and some pretty birdies...  I have another idea for décor for our front bay window---- however I need to be able to dig a tunnel to our garden shed first....  maybe in June...

Here is a layered nook in our dining room hutch that is sporting the Smothers Spring Colors. 
  • I purchased the frame from Michaels for $3.99 and then spray painted it. 
  • I had purchased the yellow, cream and grey pom poms at the Bible for Missions Thrift Store in Pella for maybe a dollar - that place seriously ROCKS!!!!!  I had the jar on hand, just put them inside.
  • Blue candle - had on hand, wrapped it with black gros grain ribbon and punched a bird out of the yellow chevron craft paper just like I did here when I made the building blocks for our entry way.
  • Grey Chevron print in the blue frame was found online - free download/printable.
  • A little greenery from IKEA and a white planter - calling this area = GOOOOOOOD!

A cute and simple print in the dining room compliments the birds and the color scheme.
I found a free grey chevron printable background online, enlarged it to fit a 11x17 paper.
The blue is actually a seperate saying I found online as well - it states

Nest:  (n) a place of retreat, rest or lodging.

Isnt that everyone's home in a nutshell?  I thought it was a perfect fit!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Scads of Topiaries are Springing up!!!!

Topiaries are a RAGE right now... probably because everyone and their dog is looking forward to spring (well prolly not our dog, he LOVES winter = he's crazy like that).  Nothing spruces up a room like a little green plant! 

I wanted to add a little touch of green to our living room in honor of  just begging spring to arrive... ASAP!!!!!  Momma needs some sunshine!!!!

On a recent visit to Michael's Craft Store in West Des Moines, I picked up a few items to whip an easy wishing in spring topiary.

Items Needed:

2 foam moss covered balls
Bamboo Skewer or wooden dowel
Terra Cotta Pot


Place 1 moss sphere into terra cotta pot - you can glue it if you would like for extra stability.
Dallop glue onto one end of skewer or dowel, place stick (glue side down) into moss sphere... let set up a bit.  I used Welder Adhesive - this glue tends to have a heavy duty grab to it once it sets.

Now that your skewer has set in the bottom ball, time to add the 2nd sphere...
Using the same technique above, dallop glue unto dowel/skewer (on the top) and push dowel into 2nd globe.  Hold until you get a good glue set.

Ta-Da!  Instant Spring!!!  YAY!
You can color the skewer with stain markers or paint it if you would like. 
At this time, I have not done this. 

Here this gorgeous guy is on our living room mantel...
How are you adding pops of spring to your home décor?

Friday, February 21, 2014

Come On in SPRING!!!!! - Brightening up our Entryway

Anyone else out there battling the winter blahs?  I know that am - daily!
I need a dose of sunshine, green grass and the sound of singing birds in the background...

Therefore.... A Spring Re-Do is a MUST for an immediate pick me up!!!!  First victim... our entryway! That way, everyone who comes into our house will also get the benefit of a whif of spring.... (imagine cut grass, and the smell of clean linen drying outside in the sunshine...)  - Sorry.. I am back... I was having one of those Calgon take me away moments...

where was I... Oh yes... our victim  er I mean our Entryway...

For Spring this year, I went with colors that I have used in the past, however mixed and matched from different seasons... Hee hee... saving a little cha-ching - if you know what I mean....

I have added some greenery which always adds a little touch of sunshine.

I decided to layer up various items in these shades to add dimension and texture.  I placed a wall hanging on the top instead of going the traditional route of hanging it.  (think of those giant mirrors people sit on the floors)

Here's an up close and personal look at each grouping.  You will see that several items have made their debut in other postings... I am just trying to keep it within budget. 

Hard to see here but the ribbons are black, and then a yellow chevron print on the other.  I have used these candlesticks in many other posts. 

You can check out the Building Block Re-Mod here....

This planter was given to me by my Mom, as well as the struggling plant - hey... I do not have a green thumb!!!!

Banner was made with various materials... adding a lot of fun to the mix...
craft paper, grey fleece, and a printed canvas... all strung up on a black ric rac ribbon.
all in all  = SUPER CUTE

I spray painted these finials I found at a local Goodwill.  These were purchased and showcased in this ThriftStore Thursday.  

I have since added and switched a couple things around.... I added a "SPRING" printable with a  yellow chevron print in the background in a teal blue frame...  I better go snap a shot of it now.. and add it to this post later...  LOL...

Nothing ever stays the same... Everything's up for change

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Springing up the Ole Living Room

I am on the warpath to bring spring to life.... stinking groundhog... what does he know anyway... really Phil?  Really?????  jeeeeeezzzzzz.... (insert MAJOR eyeroll and foot stomp here) 

Now that I have indulged my 3 year old sassy fit... off to apply a temporary Band-Aid  - a spring face lift if you will! 

Our Living room.... we hang out here as a family every evening, coloring, snuggling, movie watching, fixing our cars - er... Finley fixes her Cozy Coupe Car ... and over all... just enjoy our time together as a family...

This spaced deserves a little spring face lift!   So... without further ado... here's the re-vamp of our living room - well the mantel area anyways...

I used the color combo of:

Yellow, Teal, Tiffany Blue , Gray
Cream & White with touches of:
Black and Greenery
I used different materials for our mantel bunting... felt, fleece, painted canvas and I added a preppy white stripe to the grey fleece for a little added fun-ness(is that even a word?)
This is all held onto black ric rac ribbon. 
Here you can see our topiary at work... adding a little spring time action...
I purchased the small teal tray and the yellow chevron clipboard at Target in the OneSpot - for a whopping $1.00!  The bird... you may recognize from a previous Thriftstore Thursday post

Over on the other side of the mantel...  a pretty arrangement consisting of:
Succulents in a creamy concrete planter from Target
Creamy White birdcage from Michaels - it was 40% off, and then they took another 25% off at the register!!!  WHAAAAAAT?  = insane craziness right!?!?!?
White candlestick from Dollar General  with a blue candle and black and yellow ribbon
I covered 3 books in the coordinating grey, white and painted canvas materials... these are older books that I have kept on hand, that I just wrapped in fabric to match the décor.  Quick, Easy and Simple!

Gosh I love seeing the bright POPS of color, the greenery added to the room... just what I needed to add a little hope to my day that spring is juuuuuuuuuuuuust right around the corner...

"The day the Lord created Hope, was probably the same day He Created Spring {Bern Williams}

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Building Blocks for Spring Display

Do you have a décor item that you really enjoy, however it doesn't really fit with what you are looking for?
Well let me introduce you to my temporary fix... double sided Scotch tape and some craft paper! 

I purchased these building blocks a few years ago.  I love the color combo, however for this springs look, I am wanting more grey, yellow and teal then the other red and brown....  I would also like to incorporate a bird into this as well... what's a girl to do?   Besides I just want something for a temporary situation... I like the family blocks... I want to keep that forever and always!

Well... the solution's not gonna be to go buy this... so I better just WHIP it up...

Items Needed:
building blocks
12x12 craft paper
double sided tape
Paper cutter or scissors

I measured the blocks, roughly at first so I could get a loose measurement - I would rather it was bigger, and I can cut down if needed...
I chose 3 different colors and prints of paper... I am thinking of changing one of the cream ones to more of a teal/blue colored paper... 
I cut 6 3 3/4" squares with my small Creative Memories Paper Cutter...

and then added a few strips of the double sided Scotch tape and applied the paper to the block.  Easy switcheroo....
I also wanted to add in a bird aspect to these blocks... because well.. there is nothing more spring like the sound of singing birds... 
So I used my trusty Stampin Up bird punch, in alternating colors, black and then another in the yellow chevron paper that I used on one of the blocks.  To add some dimension, I switched the wings and the branch on the birds... I taped them onto the blocks and stacked them up in our entry way area. 
I think they are super cute!!! 
How about you?  Any particular item or animal that signifies spring for you? 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Transformation Tuesday!

A look into how I repurposed my Thrift Store Thursday finds !!!! 

Remember how I found this outstanding mirrored tray at the Mahaska County Outreach here Oskaloosa for $1.99? .... 

I had thought I might paint it... but the worn patina won out in the long run. 
We have Oil Rubbed Bronze lamp bases for our beside lamps, and I didn't want a color that would compete with that.  - Give me some time though... I may change my mind. 
Here is our beside table before with all my odds and ends of stuff... 
My daughter will be close to 25 before I will be able to get rid of the monitor...   I know.. I better just schedule my session with my therapist now... attachment issues and what not...
Moved the lamp over closer to the bed, added the mirrored tray....
 Added back my rando items that I use during the evening/sleepy time.
Tissues - its the year of the colds in our house  - UGH... never ending
Lip Conditioner - well, because lips can never be too conditioned!
Hand & Nail Lotion - my skin is stinking DRY!  Gotta love IA winters!
Engagement photo of the Apple of My Eye and myself at Principal Park in Des Moines - what a great day!  We had a BLAST!
and last but not least....
World's Greatest Mom award... yes... please let it be known...  HA!  LOL!!! *Snort!*

Just a final look at the corralled items in the mirrored tray.
Added something a little fancy, and added some practical corralling  = blamo! Pretty, Simple Bedside table top.
How about you?  Any easy, repurposed items adding functionality to your household?

Thursday, February 13, 2014

You're so Granola - A recipe for the hippy liberal middle class person that you are....

On today with Smothered and Covered...
(did anyone just feel like they were about to watch a daytime TV program?)
Good Morning Granola Recipe!
My hubby loves granola.
 Finley and I make this recipe for him every other week, as it lasts him 2 weeks. 
EASY! yes!
FAST! yes!
GOOD!  yes!
check, check and check!
According to the Urban Dictonary, Granola means: A person who dresses like a hippy, eats natural foods (granola), and is usually a Liberal, but in all other ways is a typical middle class white person, and is likely to revert back to being straight when they finish college.
Well... that might not be true for my husband... LOL...
4c quick rolled oats
1c melted peanut butter
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 peanuts or almonds
1/2 mini chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Melt peanut butter in microwave (about 1 minute)
In large bowl, combine oats, honey, nuts, chocolate chips and raisins. 
Pour warm peanut butter over ingredients in the bowl. 
Mix all the ingredients together well.
Bake in a  9x13 pan for around 20 minutes or until granola is a toasty brown color. 

~ You will be able to smell the yummy chocolate and peanut butter when its close to being done ~

Here's an up close view of the tasty treat!
This makes a great treat for on the go family's.  Scoop some into baggies, seal them up and store in your pantry, makes for a great grab and go snack item!  PLUS... you know what is in it! 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Mystery of the Floating Hearts

I totally just felt like I was Carolyn Keene when I wrote that title....
I LOVED Nancy Drew when I was growing up.  My mom had all the books, and I would pour over them again and again. 
Now even though those girls had quite a mystery ahead of them... this post really isn't that mysterious.
  However it will unravel the mystery of how to make a frame of floating hearts!
For our mantel, I felt that we needed something with some height to add to the mix... we had plenty of smaller items that I mixed and matched and they all had various heights.  However on the left side (as your looking at it) there was just NOTHING in my bag of goodies that was Valentines related that I could put up there.  
What's a girl to do?  Well.. make something then!
I had this blue frame from another project (for my daughter's room), however I wasn't using it yet... so... I robbed peter to pay paul for this project!  hee hee! 


 Supplies Used:
Picture Frame - I picked this up at a local thrift store, took the picture out.
Spray paint - to paint the frame
Butchers Twine or String
Craft Papers - scraps of 6 papers in coordinating colors.
Heart Punch
Glue - I used Homax - Welder Adhesive

  • I cut the butchers twine to the length of the empty frame.   (leave enough allowance to tie a bow around the edges of the frame for attachment).
  • I punched out various hearts in the craft papers I had scraps of. I used blue, pinks, and various patterned papers.  Nothing super matchy matchy... but it all goes together... somehow.
  • I then glued two hearts together using two of the same papers. 
  • I staggered the hearts on the strings so they wouldn't all be in a line...
  • Tied the string to the frame, and put up on the mantel.  BOOM! instant height!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A Lil Sweet Treat for my Sweet Peet!

Finley and I whipped up some easy Valentine treats this past weekend for her to share with her buddies at day care... (I think they were a hit... only 2 cookies came back in the baggie!)  LOL.

We wanted to share the recipe with you all - it is seriously - VERY EASY... so easy a 3 year old could do it... Oh wait... a 3 year old LITERALLY did make these! 

Here's a little cheeeeeeese for you today...

Valentine Strawberry Wafer Cookies

Sprinkles - ALOT of them...
Baker's Chocolate (Semi Sweet)
Baker's White Chocolate
Strawberry Wafter Cookies

Melt the Baker's Chocolate in your microwave, according to the directions on the box.  I believe it took around 3 minutes on our microwave.
Dip each wafter cookie into the chocolate(s)
Sprinkle your fun decorations onto the wafer cookie before the chocolate sets. 
Let cookies sit until chocolate sets up and hardens.
We placed the dipped cookies on wax paper, but I am sure the parchment paper would work too or a cookie tray - whatever you have on hand.

Warning: your 3 year old will try to eat all the sprinkles, cookies and ask to lick the chocolate bowls...  allowing this may allegedly give said child a sugar rush... and a lot of extra energy.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Send me the Felt Flower Pillow that you Dream on....

A.) I love Dean Martin - If you didn't get the title of this post - google it, and for the love of all things holy... go download some of his dreamy crooner songs.... *sigh, he's seriously the dreamy-ist*

B.) I LOVE repurposing items... the thrill of the hunt when shopping for the perfect treasure to transform into something different...  the great bargin that I hope to get.... and the opportunity that I have to use my imagination to see something different... to take something normal and to transform it into something else...  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this!

I visited our local Mahaska County Outreach and picked up this lovely  NOPE.... orange silky pillow.. Not going to lie... this guy will go with NOTHING in our house...  but for .50 I figured I could do something with it... or at least try... heck its only .50!

I went to WalMart and found a steal on some grey herringbone fabric for $1.50 a yard.  I purchased 4 yards of that gorgeousness... seriously... SICK and WICKED plans I have for this fabric. I also picked up some dark grey fleece - they didn't have any grey felt that I could buy individual pieces of.
I purchased a half yard of the dark grey for under $2.00
I have really enjoyed those felt flower pillows that I have seen in Home Goods for around $25.00 however... why spend $25.00 for one pillow... when I think I could make one for less?

 So I un-earthed my sewing machine, made a little slip cover for the pillow out of the herringbone material... P.S. this fabric is FABULOUS... seriously in LOOOOOOVE with it!

I almost cried when I thought about how many circles I was going to have to cut out for this pillow... 
I cut out a little template out of poster board, I traced a circle using our drinking glass.  I folded the material in half, and then cut little squares out of the material and then cut the circles out - hee hee... I was sneaky... I cut the # I needed... but in half the time!

See my cute stack of fabric circles.... so adorable!

I layed out the circles on the pillow - a dry run if you will...
And then I started gluing the circles to the pillow....
I glued the petals on the outside flat...
the closer I got to the center however I saw I was going to need to raise the petals as to get texture.

So I folded the circles in half... and then glued the bottom 1/8th and then folded the sides back out...

Then I layered the center petals and glued them down... I tried to ensure when layering the petals that they alternated their center...

I topped the flower off with a metallic button in the center.

Here's a view of the petals from a side....

On our sofa... just chillin...

And final... a couple staged photos at my office area in the living room.