Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Happy Hallowe'en!

Tonight my husband and I finally got around to carving our pumpkins. Nothing like leaving it to the last minute!

I art directed, he executed. Here is a quick share of our creations.

We used a cordless drill to make the holes. Pretty quick and easy, though a bit messy (lots of little pumpkin bits flying about).

I'm happy with how they turned out. And now I have a big pile of pumpkin seeds to roast. Yum!

Wishing you all a safe and fun time trick-or-treating tomorrow night!

I can be found linking up at these parties this week.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Couponing - a whole new world!

So, I didn't share any new posts or projects last week. My apologies.

The reason? Last week I gave less time to blogging and more time to another activity that is new to me - couponing! Don't worry, I won't be trying out for TLC's Extreme Couponing (not any time soon at least).


My husband and I are on a mission to trim our budget, so this is one way to do just that. Thankfully I have some thrifty friends (especially you Rachel!) who can help me learn the ways of becoming a coupon master.

And there is a lot to learn. It's been almost overwhelming at times. But I won't get into that here.

One great thing about couponing is that it is another outlet for me to be organized in a pretty way. I am excited to start a coupon binder or some other organization system. I haven't decided what it will be just yet.

Okay, am I sounding like a complete nerd here? That's alright. I fully embrace my nerdy tendencies.

I hopped on Pinterest to see how others are beautifully organizing their coupons, and I found some great ideas. I thought I would share some of them with you. (If you are going to pin any of these images, please so so from the original source as they are not my images. Thanks!)

I like this box method - especially the patterned dividers.


The aqua pages of this binder caught my eye. When I left Pinterest to check out the original source, I found out they're from Martha Stewart's office line at Staples. Oh Martha, you always get me!


 Love the rainbow colour-coding going on here!


This binder is just so PRETTY and there are lots more great pics of it in the original post.


You can check out my entire pin board of inspiration here. There are so many great ideas out there.

When I get myself organized with a pretty and functional system, I will be sure to share it with you.

In the meantime, tell me, do you coupon? How do you stay organized?

Monday, October 15, 2012

A child's mealtime caddy

I love to organize. It makes me happy inside and out to tackle a project - big or small - and end up with a neater, more functional space.

This project definitely falls into the small category, but small things can make a big difference!

When it comes to meal and snack time, there are a few staples we always need handy for our 10 month old little guy - sippy cup, rice snacks, spoons, wash cloths, to name a few.

Our dining room table was getting a bit cluttered with all of the things we needed to have within reach. I decided to put together a little caddy to keep all of his essentials organized and close at hand.

I bought this great little divided basket at the dollar store for $1.25. It turned out to be the perfect size for what I needed. I love it when that happens.

I wanted to make the basket more personal, so I went digging through my sticker collection and came across these fun, adhesive-backed buttons. I had purchased them on clearance for a mere 70 cents awhile back, but had totally forgotten about them.

I was so pleased to rediscover them - they were perfect for this project!

Once I stuck the buttons on, I went to work filling the caddy with all the essentials.

It's fun, organized and even matches my little guy's place mat!

We just use a booster seat instead of a high chair in order to save space in our dining room. The caddy is the perfect size to fit on the booster seat tray or over the back of his chair when not in use.

Organization. I love it! And all for less than two dollars!

Please visit my Link Parties page and check out where I'm linking up this week.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Homemade thankful rolls - yum!

Happy belated Thanksgiving to all of you Canadian readers!
I am so blessed and so thankful to the Lord for His abundant provision in my life!

We had a lovely family dinner with my parents, my grandmother and my siblings and their families on Sunday. Then Monday we had a quiet day at home, just the three of us.

We even got out for a mini family photo shoot! My hubby took some great shots, and I just can't resist sharing a couple of them with you.

Our family dinner on Sunday was pot-luck style (well actually, my incredible mom did most of the meal). I offered to bring some homemade rolls.

Now, I have never made homemade bread of any sort before, but I had seen a fun idea for 'thankful rolls' on Pinterest and I wanted to try it out!

Source: Thankful Rolls from Pinterest via The Girl Who Ate Everything

The idea of the thankful roll is to put a little message inside each roll. The guests at the table get to open their roll and share their message during the meal.

As the weekend drew closer I was getting a little nervous. What had I signed myself up for? Could I really successfully bake homemade rolls on my first attempt? I wasn't too sure.

Thankfully I came across a simple (but time consuming - lots of waiting for dough to rise) recipe on Ree Drummond's blog: The Pioneer Woman. I especially liked that it was a 'no kneading required' recipe.

Source: The Pioneer Woman Blog - PW Dinner Rolls

I read the recipe over carefully - at least 5 times! There were a few different stages of rising that the dough had to go through, so I wanted to be sure I had it all timed out properly.

While waiting for dough to rise, I typed out these little pieces to wrap in foil and place in the rolls before baking. My messages were sentences for each person to complete.

I am happy (and thankful!) to say that my rolls turned out successfully. Thank you Pioneer Woman!

They were sooo yummy (if I do say so myself!)

Everyone enjoyed eating them and sharing their thankful thoughts at our meal. Perhaps this could be a new tradition. What are your Thanksgiving meal traditions?

Check out my Link Parties page to see where I'm linking up this week!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Fall art tutorial - from failure to success

Have you ever had a great idea for a DIY project in your head, then when you go to do it, reality takes over and it just doesn't quite work out how you intended?

That's what happened to me with this Fall art project. I was about half way through when I realized it was not going to end well. Sigh.

However, all was not lost. With a bit of tweaking and simplifying, I was able to make it all work out. So, if you will stay with me, I will lead you through my Fall art how-to, from failure to success!

This all started because my front porch was in need of some Fall-themed wall art. You can check out the spring/summer look of my porch in this blog post that shows the reno/redecorating of the porch.

My idea for the wall art was inspired by this image I found on Pinterest (original source here).

I love the simple elegance of the lace on burlap. I thought I could capture that look by covering an art canvas with some burlap and spray painting a lacy stencil on it using some doily scrapbook paper I had on hand.

This project started off well. I even took a nice picture of all the supplies you would need: two small canvases from the dollar store, burlap, scissors, staple gun, white spray paint, and doily scrapbook paper. I did forget to include a utility knife and ruler in the photo.

Using a lightweight staple gun, I covered two small canvases with some burlap I had leftover from my wedding decorations (we had a fall wedding three years ago). 

This part of the project went off without a hitch and looked great (except that I ran out of staples half way through and had to make a trip to The Home Depot).

Then I cut a section of the doily paper. My idea was to use it as a stencil to spray paint onto the burlap. Simple, right? WRONG!

This is where it all fell apart. Spray paint on loosely woven burlap is not a good idea

Luckily, I was smart enough to do a test piece first before actually spraying my burlap-covered canvas. The burlap was too porous and sucked up the paint. A lot of the detail was lost. 

This wasn't quite the look I was going for.

So to salvage the project, I decided to simplify things and just use actual lace and ribbon like in the Pinterest photo. I dug into my box of ribbon remnants and came up with these pieces.

I used the staple gun to attach the lace and ribbon at the back of the canvas. Here are the finished products.

And here is how the art looks in my front porch. I used the same nails that my round black and white wall art usually hangs on.

Here is a shot of my Fall display below the art. I added some lace and burlap to tie it all together.

Even though my original idea didn't work out, I love it when I can work an idea through and come up with a revised solution. 

The best part? The finished product was actually easier to do than my original plan!

I'm linking up with these great parties this week. Be sure to check them out!