A budget-friendly DIY & lifestyle blog

Friday, November 30, 2012

Pumpkin A'Plenty - 6 Ways to Put That Pumpkin Decor To Use

Now that we're fully into Christmas decorating season, what are you going to do with the leftover pumpkins that survived the fall?  Luckily, I have six ways to keep them from rotting on your front porch.

1.  Roast The Seeds

Who doesn't love baked pumpkin seeds?  Cut the pumpkin in half and separate the seeds from the membrane.  Rinse the seeds and allow them to dry on a paper towel.  Spray a baking sheet with oil, spread out seeds evenly, sprinkle with salt and bake for 10-20 minutes at 350 degrees.  Store seeds in an airtight container.  Regular ol' pumpkin seeds a little too boring?  Try these tasty takes on the classic - cinnamon & sugar, ginger-orange zest, spicy and cheesy.



Thursday, November 29, 2012

Fa La La

It seems that as soon as I finished decorating for fall, Christmas peeked it's head around the corner and yelled, surprise!  Luckily my holiday decorating is the same from year to year so the process is pretty painless.

I pick up a cedar bough garland and lay it across the mantle.  The trimmings get made into a wreath for the front door.  I love the look of cedar - it's vibrant emerald green color and the natural texture that it adds.

I hang our crimson and white Pottery Barn velvet stockings that I got for a steal at an after season sale from my Eddie Bauer stocking hooks (another goodwill find.)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

A Few of My Favorite Things: Five Under $30

With Christmas looming around the corner I'm in total gift buying mode.  I usually spend the year thinking of things to get people and am pretty much done buying gifts by the time December rolls around.  This year is a whole 'nother story and I'm feeling the pressure. Luckily, I have an arsenal of go-to favorites when I get in a bind.  Like, right now.

 So what about you guys?  Have any favorite gifts that you love to give?


Wednesday, November 21, 2012


'Tis the season to be over-stressed, over-traveled, and over-tired but, most of all, over-thankful.  And boy, am I.  I feel very blessed to have great family, great friends and the opportunity to stay home with my little man and get to share my creative spirit with all of you.  Thank you all for stopping in time and again and supporting this lil' blog.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Cleaning the Fridge // DIY Kids Magnet Organization

Ever have a pet peeve that is pretty ridiculous? But then again, isn't that exactly what pet peeves are?  Something very inconsequential that no matter how much you tell yourself that it really isn't a big deal it still seems to drive you bat shit crazy.  I have quite a few - probably more than any person should have.

Our fridge has been covered with little alphabet and farm animal magnets ever since our little man could crawl.  And by covered, I mean COVERED - the front and side.  They fall off or are thrown on the floor during one of Luke's godzilla-esque rampages.  And.It.Drives.Me.Nuts.  Instead of just saying forget it and donating them to another household I've suffered through for the sake of my kid's entertainment.  Not anymore, folks.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Here Comes The Rain Again

This past summer sure was lovely, wasn't it?  Well, at least for those of us in the PacNW coast.  We had lots and lots of sunshine.  No joke, there were weeks upon weeks of it straight into the beginning of October.  For anyone that lives in a place with a rainy fall, winter and spring - it's like crack.  We can't get enough of it.

Unfortunately for some of my plants - they didn't quite feel the same way.  Remember those pretty azaleas I planted back in April?

In a Laguna Beach flashback, they're done-zo.  I guess you have to water your plants for them to make it through the summer.  Who knew?  Poor little guys.  So with the indian summer coming to a close - I put in some work getting the yard ready for the rain.  First, I ran around picking up all the toys and outdoor furniture and stored them in our shed.  Then, I pulled all the potted plants indoors.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Can You Smell That Smell - Homemade Room Spray

Febreeze, move on over - there's a new, healthier girl in town and folks, she's easy.  If you can shake it - you can make it. 

You'll need:
  • 2 cups distilled warm water
  • 2-3 drops essential oil
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • Spray bottle
First take some distilled water - you can either purchase some at the store, make your own or try the lazy girl's version (like me!) and just use cooled boiled water - pour it into the spray bottle and mix in the rest of the ingredients.  I've used lavender essential oil, but you could use whatever fragrance your little heart (or nose) desires.  Give it a good ol' shake and freshen your room or furniture items with a little spritz.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

That Dang Hemnes Dresser

As I mentioned back in this post our well-built black bedroom furniture got the boot for the white Ikea Hemnes furniture when we needed to lighten things up.  But my dear Hemnes dresser couldn't hold up to my collection of clothes. 

I kept fixing the dresser only to have it burst open in a "you can't fix me, you can't fix me" taunt.  Even putting a few more nails into it did nothing to help.  Finally fed up with simply putting the dresser back together, I decided to fix this dresser once and for all. 


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Open Shelving Gets A Trim

Remember that open shelving we installed awhile back?  We made the 4-foot long shelves from the Ikea Valter brackets and simple 1x12 white wood boards.  I love our open shelving.  It's freed up cabinet space where we used to house our plates and bowls and cleared up counter space where our glass jarred food staples used to hang out.  But what I'm not too fond of are the thin boards and the unfinished edges of each shelf.

While the boys (the hubs, my dad and my brother) were hard at work on the mudroom and while we had all the tools out, I garnered some motivation (and possibly guilt over being the only one not doing anything) and decided to finally get these shelves up to par with a quick little fix.  I pulled out a couple 1x2s from our stash to update each shelf with mitered trim.  The 45 degree miter cuts were incredibly simple thanks to the use of a chop saw, but they could also be cut using a miter box and hand saw.  I cut three trim pieces for each shelf and left the back of each trim-free since they wouldn't be seen.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Why I Mostly Love and Sorta Loathe Ikea

Ikea, known for its Scandinavian design, is a budget designer's dream.  From traditional to modern they have something for every taste and for a cost that won't leave you on a saltine diet.  We've been known to hit the big blue box now and again and I always seem to find quite a few things that I absolutely love and I'm not just talking about those amazing cookies.  Then again, love ain't the only emotion we feel for our favorite little one-stop-home-shop - we're also pretty loathesome.  But let's start on a positive note, shall we?

Wall Storage Options - Above all, we love the organizational tools that Ikea has available, specifically their wall storage options.  We use the Grundtal magnetic knife rack, bygel rails, and ekby valter bracets to maximize storage in our small home.

Grundtal Magnetic Knife Rack - This handy wall organizer is found in the kitchen department and is typically used to hold knives.  We've used one for our knives and our spices.  BUT, there's a slew of other amazing ways it could be used.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Mudroom Update and Inspiration

Have I told you how much I love mudrooms?  They're a perfect place to drop your boots, toss your jacket and leave every trace of mud and rain behind.  As I'm more partial to finished mudrooms as opposed to unfinished - we're gearing up to work on ours this weekend.  When we bought our home the room wasn't too bad and we saw all the potential it had.  We thought it'd be a quick update with a new door and window, but this was one of those rooms that had an unwelcome surprise around every corner.

From the rotting foundation beam and subfloor to the scary electrical and plumbing work - this room has definitely been a headache. It's been in a state of limbo and disarray for the past 6 months after we put in the new door and replaced the subfloor.  Our mudroom has come a long way but it still has a long way to go.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

DIY Halloween Costumes

What?  It's been over a week since Halloween?  Rather than get caught up in the details let's just take a look at our rad DIY Halloween costumes this year. 

The hubs and I stepped out on the town the Saturday before Halloween for some much needed grown up fun.  We threw these little numbers together last minute using things we had at home, plus some makeup and hair assistance from the neighbors. 

Say hello to Frankenstein and Frankenstein's Bride.

Not too shabby for pulling it out a couple hours before the party.  And guess what?  That's my wedding dress!  Frankenstein's bolts - those are painted marshmallows.  They did a pretty damn good job of sticking too.  My hair - that's the end result of some crazy teasing and a disgusting mixture of egg whites and elmer's glue.  I woke up the next morning still rocking the hair style.  It.Didn't.Move.  Luckily it came out pretty easily in the shower with the ol' smear on a bunch of conditioner, brush through, rinse and wash method.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

In The Kitchen: Cranberry Season

It's cranberry season in Washington!  Our little neck of the woods is one of the top producing regions of the tart little berry and it's no surprise that we love them around these parts.  Whether we're making cranberry sauce, tossing some into baked goods or using them in our decor - everyone has their own way of showcasing these crimson berries.  And here are two of mine.

First up is one of my all-time favorites.  I'm not much of a breakfast eater, but a good cup of coffee and a pastry?  Now that'll get my engine purring in the morning.  These Cranberry Almond scones are quick and delicious.  'Nuff said.

Cranberry Almond Scones


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Paint That Cured The Itch

Not THAT itch.  Thank god.  My itch is a little more mental.  There are so many pending projects around the house that it's feeling a bit overwhelming and with our budget cut it seems that nothing is going to get done.  This lack of progress has me in a bit of a funk and if you've noticed I haven't been up to much on this ol' blog (which is now one year old) and that's a bit scary.  If I'm dormant for too long - watch out!  I get that itch to get creative and who knows what'll happen.  This time around wasn't too drastic, but the final results did sway from my originally intended design scheme just a bit.

My plan was to paint all of the living spaces (i.e. the living room, hallway, stairway, landing, etc.) a light warm gray covering up the off-white that is painted everywhere including the trim and ceiling.  I swear they just moved through the whole house with a paint sprayer and no surface was safe!  (Sounds familiar, Pops?)  Yes, gray.  Just like everyone else.

I like gray.  No, I love gray.  If you're a Pinterest follower then I'm sure you're well aware of my love of gray.  It's a perfect neutral and is both modern and traditional.  It's perfect for our young little family and our little coastal cottage. BUT, my warm gray color would be a new purchase.  One that I don't really think I could rationalize to my hubby which means that I'd have to live with these hideous off-white walls for whoever knows how long.
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