Read all about it!!

A few new goings-on for my little blog…first, I am introducing “Where Love and Family Meet” as the blog to actually keep track of my family and read about family-like topics. wherelovemeetslife is officially going to stick with home decor and DIY and all those fun topics. So head over and check it out… I will get rolling with some fun family posts and the first post will be sure to get some reactions. Thanks for keeping with me on this little journey, I hope to keep it rolling gangsta style. Well, sorta, if a Honda Pilot can be considered gangsta.

Head over to Where Love and Family Meet and take a gander! I will prettify that blog as I can… it’s not all fancy schmancy just yet.

I have also now added a Facebook page and a Twitter page. So if that’s how you stay in the know… link up and stay tuned for more!

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Goodwill decor

As promised, here is the tutorial on how I made a couple of the items found on our table this Thanksgiving. Just to refresh your memory, my sister-in-law and I completed a table setting on a budget (actually well below budget) here last week. Some of the items on the table were Goodwill finds, inspired by Pinterest (who is surprised, really). So you can see some of my inspiration, check out this and this.

I started out with a green pedestal I had picked up a month or so ago. I knew I would find a use for it, I just had no clue what that would be when I brought it home. Well, once I made another trip to the good old Goodwill to find another pedestal and a clear bowl I knew that I had found the use for my green friend.

So this is what I started with:

My first step was to clean each piece thoroughly. I had to make sure there was no wax residue or dust that would keep the paint from adhering well. Once clean and dry, I took the maroon(rose? pink? red? I give up, how about marose, yea, I will just make up a color for it) pedestal outside to start making it pretty. Marose… so 10 years ago, and so not happening in my house. Here it is after a first coat of paint. I have learned from some “pros” on other blogs that lots of really thin coats is what makes these items look their best and helps the paint to last longer. Although, they would probably have told me to prime them. I had no primer, so extra coats of color had to do!

Then I flipped her over and did the top and more coats of gold. I am using Rustoleum metallic. It works well and gave a really nice rich color.

One last coat and this baby is good to go!

Now I used some liquid nail to attach the bowl to the pedestal. I would have prefered a clear glue, but all I had was a putty color, and really, with the gold you hardly notice it.

And because I am a sucker for a before and after photo….here you go!

The next item I prepared from my Goodwill hunting (love that movie!) was this cake stand made from the green pedestal and an old plate. I also used the same liquid nails on this piece.

I flipped the plate upside down(once both pieces were washed and dried well) and measured out the plate in order to center the pedestal. I will be honest, I hate this part, I would love to just eye-ball it. But when I do that, about 1 out of every 10 times its off. Then it drives.me.nuts. So I went ahead and did a little double check on my centering. Once it was centered and marked, I put some liquid nail on the plate as well as the pedestal to ensure there was plenty on both pieces for good adhesion.

I left it flipped over for an hour or two to let it dry enough to get painting.

For some reason, I didn’t take any photos of the in-process painting for the cake stand. Wish I had…because this one took a bunch of coats to get it looking the way I wanted it to. And, along with no paint pictures, I completely missed taking a before and after photo of this one. Boo! I must keep a mental note of that – always take before and afters!!!

I do have this pic from the table setting. It shows how good it turned out and how versatile this guy is going to be. I chose black because it is a color I can use a lot, and if I ever get a wild hair, I can just paint it again.

I will share more on those little twig votives as well….because I need to make more of them!

Anyone else making things they pinned? Or maybe you have repurposed something from around the house and put it to better use? Or have some great Goodwill scores?

‘Tis the season… for lists!

Lists, I love to make lists. I make them at work, at home, on my phone…now my biggest challenge is completing said lists. And of course, with Christmas around the corner, I have to make gift lists. So I decided with all of this list making going on, that maybe I should put together a list of things that need attention around the house. Wish lists for decor, organization and layout, family and health. The items I have been looking at and needing to do, but just can’t get around to it. I figure that if I blog about it, that it will keep me honest on actually completing my lists. Here goes:

Home decor:

1. I need to complete a reclaimed wood wall. I blogged about it here.
2. Refinish this mid-century dresser.
3. Complete the picture gallery wall in the living room.
4. Decide on window treatments for the living room.
5. Redo the kid’s bathroom.
6. Organize and decorate the laundry room.
8. Pin down a style and design for the master bedroom.
9. Organize our master closet.
10. Redecorate Hannah’s bedroom.
11. Redecorate Garrett’s bedroom.

Fitness:

1. Start running again.
2. Make time to strength train.
3. Get Ashton used to working out as well!

Health:

1. Create a healthy lunch diet.
2. Create healthy meals that can be fixed on the fly.
3. Watch how much processed foods we are consuming.

Family:

1. Complete “before I am XX” lists (like before I am 30, etc.)
2. Have family game nights.
3. Have family movie nights(again).
4. Hike as a family.
5. Cook together.
6. Go Christmas caroling (for the season).
7. Stay in better contact with friends and family.

Well, those are some general lists, and they should always be expanding. I will try to do a monthly update on where I stand on all those items. That is ambitious, but best to push ahead for the most I can get.

Anyone else have lists-a-plenty? Since it’s the season for making lists, and checking them twice, anyone on your list this year that you have a special idea for? Or maybe your a Master List Completor??? Spread that love my way can ya? 😉

No “poo” Update

I thought I would take a moment and check in on where this whole natural shampoo adventure is taking me. I posted here on how I was going to start making my own shampoo and conditioner. It has been over a month now, and I have only cheated on my little homemade bottle one time so far. And how does my hair look and feel you ask? Ever heard the term “grease monkey”, well, maybe that isn’t just for mechanics anymore? Ok, that may be a bit extreme, and frankly, a little gross. From my reading, the transition period for your hair to get used to the new shampoo is about a month. My little escapade with some Aveda might have set me back a week or two though. sigh* I guess I must struggle through a little longer.

From my understanding, and it really does make logical sense, people like myself, who have oily hair anyway, just take time to transition. Having always had oily hair, I would shampoo everyday or my hair would just look icky. Then a beautician enlightened me that because I am washing everyday, I am stripping the natural oils from my hair, causing my hair to over-compensate and produce more natural oil than needed. So I have known the logic of this for some time now….my hair has to get used to not having to work so hard. Take a break, hair, you deserve it! This knowledge, however, does not help to cope with any kind of icky feeling that I get with my hair. I will admit that my hair has been much fuller, and I have not had to use hairspray like I used to. I am having visions of growing my hair longer again, without that flat, thin look to it.

So I guess I will need to start looking again for options to add to this shampoo. Maybe lemons? Nothing that I have to make daily, or even weekly for that matter. I need no extra steps added to my routine. I mean, you did read the post on cloth diapers, right? Isn’t that enough added?? 😉 Nah, not really.

Anyone else try some natural products and have suggestions? Spend any time with a grease monkey lately? How about any new routines that are driving you crazy?

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Decorate it on a budget – Thanksgiving reveal

So we pulled it off..between hectic days, babies that wouldn’t nap until it was way inconvenient for everyone, and food galore, we decorated the tables for Thanksgiving this year. 🙂 In the post where I announced our big plan I mentioned that we had set a budget of $30 for this table. I believe we did it!!

We had 4 tables total, but they didn’t make a perfect square, so we did a little mix of decor. Scratch that, 5 tables if you include the food table. We decided that we would just put some decor with the desserts since we always have way too much food on the table and not enough space for anything else. We are not a formal bunch, and luckily we have no decor critics showing up. So at about 2:45ish I showed up with baby in tow so that we could put together our tables before our 4:30 deadline. We managed to use quite a bit of our original inspiration for these setups.

We threw everything we had on the table and got to it.

We decided to make 5 “bunches”, one for each table with one on the dessert table. So without further adieu. Here they are! I will give the breakdown on each piece as we go along…

Here I used a Pinterest find to put together a little bowl on a pedestal. ***Be sure to check back this week for the tutorial on how I made several of these items!!** A couple of mini pumpkins, a votive, and some beans give you this little gem…that little piece of burlap we found at Michael’s (can you believe Lowes didn’t carry it in our area??) I also put together that little twig votive(What a great idea Mal!! So glad you told me to keep working on it!) I started putting these together and just wasn’t happy with how it looked. Mal gave me motivation to finish it and see how it turned out. 🙂 Pretty nice, huh? We both agreed that the little white pumpkin in the back wasn’t quite in the same family as the others, but we couldn’t leave him out on Thanksgiving.

Next, we used a lantern that we already had on hand. Acorns dipped in glitter,a few just natural, pine cones I picked up outside work. And two more of those cute little twig votives. We pulled a few leaves off of another setting to put in the lantern to tie some color into the rest of the pieces.

And then onto a sweet candle holder that Mal wrapped some fall leaves around, putting some glitter dipped pine cones in it for some bling. Another votive with a tea light and some acorns (those acorns were just too darned cute not to use a bunch!). I had picked up some green napkins via one of my Goodwill hopping sprees and we used one of those here to put some color into that piece. The base for each of these settings is that little piece of burlap.

On to the pumpkins! I picked up a bunch of those pumpkins pretty cheap at a little country store. I spray painted them gold and layered them on a “cake stand” I made with a plate and a candle pedestal. We used another of those green napkins here as well. More acorns of course. Our original idea was to use mason jars for tea lights, but I only had a few at home and they were already in use, so thanks to my obsession with saving glass jars these days, I grabbed some out of the cabinet (ok, and a couple out of the recycling bags) to use. I couldnt’ get the glue from the labels off in time, so Mal came up with the idea of sticking a leaf to it. No glue necessary! Genius!

Last, but certainly not least, we have the dessert table. A few jars wtih tea lights, a blinged up pine cone and a gold pumpkin. Complete!

Here are a couple shots with the tea lights lit. It wasn’t dark yet, so it really doesn’t give you the feel of the room after the sun went down.

Now, on to the price break-down for all that we used.

pumpkins – 5
cake stand – 0 already had
napkins – 0 purchased for a different project(but 1.50 if you want to get picky)
acorns – free
glitter – 2 tubes for .97 each = 1.94
jars – free
votives – 0 already had
leaves – 0 already had
burlap – 4.99
candle holder – 0 already had
tea lights – 1.20
sticks and hot glue for votives- 0 already had and free!
lantern – 0 already had
table cloths – 0 (our mother-in-law picked these up for us! :))
bowl and pedestal for the bean piece – 1.95 and 1 = 2.95
beans, peas and corn – .97 each = 2.91

Grand total: $15.50 + tax = $16.28!!

Wow, we were so under-budget. Maybe we will splurge a little on the Christmas one since we did so well on this one. 😉

Anyone else put together some table decor this year? Maybe have a special piece of pie or 2? Please share your own versions of Thanksgiving!

Pumpkin muffins on a Sunday afternoon

I had a serious hankering for something pumpkin this past weekend. My first plan was to make pumpkin pancakes like in Savory Sweet & Sassy’s blog post that looked super good. But then I realized we had no syrup. Boo!! Those will just have to wait for another weekend I am afraid. So, I put away the pumpkin and moved on. Or so I thought. Later that afternoon I found myself scouring the web to find muffin or cookie recipes. Ok, maybe not the web only, but Pinterest. Who is shocked??? 😉 I found this recipe for easy pumpkin muffins over at smitten kitchen and saw that Deb had even made some boo-boos making them and they turned out, so surely I can make these huh?

Here is the ingredients that I used (most are from Deb’s post, some I adjusted)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin (I used the whole can)
1/3 cup vegetable oil (I used olive oil since we didn’t have any vegetable oil)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pumpkin-pie spice (I made my own, see below.)
1 1/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar (I used 1 cup of white sugar and 1/4 cup of brown sugar, then just eyed the topping sugar)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon

I pulled out all of the ingredients

Then I preheated the oven to 350 degrees

I followed the directions pretty closely, except we love brown sugar in this house, so I exchanged the 1/4 cup of white sugar for brown sugar. I just feel that brown sugar adds a little more flavor to food. I mixed up all of the ingredients except the flour, adding that last per the directions. I did take a moment to add all of the dry ingredients(baking soda, powder and spices) together before I added them to the wet ones. I can’t stand to get a bite of baking soda or baking powder. One other change I had was that I had no pumpkin pie seasoning. So I made that as well! I did that by putting together:

1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ginger

I also took a moment here to put together a “topping” for the muffins. I eye-balled it, so no measurements on this so just use your best judgement here. I creamed together:

sugar
brown sugar
cinnamon
butter
oatmeal

Now back to my batter. I added the flour, all at once.

One of the tips from the smitten kitchen post was to use a whisk to avoid over mixing the batter. So I pulled out my whisk and mixed it up until just combined. I have to say, I will start using my whisk more often for mixing batters, super simple.

Here is the batter all mixed together.

So the next move was to put it in a muffin pan. I discovered that I only had 5 muffin liners, so I just buttered the pan before I put the batter in. I used a tablespoon and a half for each muffin. I sprinkled a little topping on each. I would think that adding walnuts or pecans would be good for this recipe as well. Here they are ready to be cooked:

I cooked these for approx. 25 minutes. Once they were out, I let them cool and then dumped them on a towel before digging in.

The verdict: WONDERFUL!!! I love these muffins!! They were super moist, although a little dense. I would probably doctor the recipe a little and add more cinnamon next time, but truly, this is a full proof recipe. I tried to get a good picture of the inside and how wonderful they looked, but my photography skills and camera just weren’t there. 🙂


Anyone else can’t wait till Thanksgiving day to get their pumpkin fix? Or did you find an awesome recipe that needs sharing?

**Update: I made these again. I added a little more brown sugar vs. white sugar and used 2 heaping tbsp of mix in each muffin:

I also added 1/2 tsp more cinnamon

Decorate it on a budget…for Thanksgiving!

My sister-in-law and I just decided that we are going to set a budget, and then DIY a Thanksgiving table scape!!! So exciting! I love me some decor on a budget, and it’s even more exciting to have someone to be a partner in crime! Here are some of the ideas that I have pinned so far…

Beans beans the magical fruit… um, ok maybe not for this meal. But aren’t they pretty? Def. a possibility

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Image found Here

I am thinking that my sis-in-law is going to love those pumpkins 🙂

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Image found Here

Can’t go wrong with these lanterns….

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Image found Here

How adorable are these? And the leaves are… F-r-e-e

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Image found Here

Those little stumps on the table?? Hearts all around from me!!!

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Image found Here

Our official budget is $30 buckaroos. I think we can do it. Between what we already have and what we can thriftily(is that a word??) find, we are going to make the dinner table beautiful this year!!

Anyone else putting together some decor for Turkey day? Setting budgets for yourself to control the inner shopper??

Reclaim the living room!!

    With wood that is…. I am desperately trying to talk my husband into letting me do a wall in the house with reclaimed wood. I am totally smitten with the look and I NEED to do this “little” DIY project. I have vowed to not be scared of decor.. and I need to add some texture to this room. And frankly, the current entertainment area is just not cutting the mustard. As you can see in the below photo, the wall is off-balance, the mirror isn’t being showcased for the great piece it is (awesome gift from my mom BTW :)), and it just isn’t as functional as I would like it to be. **sorry for the extra poor quality iPhone photo, it’s all I have available at the moment. (xoxoxo my wonderful husband)

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    Basically when I think of how we use the living room and what our needs are I can make the following list:

    1. storage – we have dvds, satellite box, Xbox, Wii, dvd player and lots of board games that currently reside in our master closet and are just not getting used as often as I would like to see. I would also like some nice bookshelves in the house, but that may make the wall too busy and distracting.

    2. functionality – we all sit around watching movies at times. We use the laptop to watch them at times as well. We need to be able to access all of the equipment while keeping things looking orderly.

    3. We want it to be purdy. When we walk into the living room, I want us all to feel like we are in a special place. We spend a lot of time in the main living areas of the house, it needs to reflect who we are!

    So in order to get all that, we need to get that wall revamped for the family to use, while still keeping it aesthetically pleasing. And frankly, I want some wow factor in there. I want it to be a focal point and a point of conversation. Oh, and did I mention that I am just dying to see if I can pull off the look of reclaimed wood???

    I am a big fan of the modern look, but it tends to be a little “cold” and uninviting. That is where the reclaimed wood will come in. Here are some looks that I like…

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    Image found here

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    Image found here

    wall unit3

    Image found here

    I am looking at something like this for the wall…

    Reclaimed wood wall

    Image found at Mom and Her Drill
    This talented blogger/DIYer transformed her living room with this wall.

    And this was the inspiration that I had from one of my favorite blogs. I have been drooling over this wall for a while now.

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    Image found over at Bower Power

    They both used pallets, and lucky for me… I have access to as many pallets as I need!! So free material, a little elbow grease and time and I can have that wall!! Oh, and the final approval from the other half. I keep telling him to just let me do it and he will love the outcome!!! I will probably end up just working out some kind of deal with him – meaning I will owe him big time for letting me do it. lol Gotta love him!

    This will be a big step for me, because doing a wall like this scares the begeezus out of me, but I feel like I am going to have to go big or just don’t bother!

    Anyone else having to bribe their significant other?? Or maybe someone is planning a daring change in their house soon, or even their life!

    ***Update: I am afraid that this idea may be on hold for the time being. Since we will inevitably sell the house we are in (waiting on a little return of the market I am afraid), then this project may need to be done in a more permanent home. It’s still on my list, and pretty close to the top. And who knows, I may just do it anyway 🙂

Cloth diaper update and other ramblings

Well, its been a few weeks since we started cloth diapering. We purchased 7 diapers of various brands and types in order to determine what would work for us/Ashton. So, here is my report on that….

*****Warning- the next list is a little graphic…skim past if you must!*****

1. Dirty cloth diapers are a little gross when your baby is still nursing…seriously, it’s gross.
2. Ashton’s little tush looks so freakin cute in them!!!
3. You must change cloth diapers a little more often.
4. Ashton doesn’t wet a diaper much at night, so no need for night-time diapers – and thank goodness cause those things are beasts!!
5. We definitely need at least 12 diapers in rotation to go completely cloth.
6. You need special detergents to wash cloth diapers so that they maintain absorbency.
7. Some brands fit different than others.
8. Sometimes the smell doesn’t come out in one wash (they make stuff to help with that, just need to pick some up)
9. I believe we are ready to make the switch to 99.9% cloth.

It is more work by far to cloth diaper, especially keeping up with getting them back and forth to my mom’s so that she has diapers during the week/day or him. And she will be leaving me the dirties to deal with when I get off work lol. Can’t blame her there. But all-in-all I like the switch. I feel good about it. And I am very sure my pocket book will feel good about it too!!!

ok, now for the ramblings… I was looking back at my blog posts and realized that I have/will be talking a lot about what I want to do or will do, and I don’t have much to talk about what I HAVE done. I want to remedy that and I am positively itching to start something… ok, and finish it.. Seriously, I think I am going to have to do something big this weekend. I need a change in the house. I am not entirely sure what I will do, but stay tuned!!! I also have a bunch of photos from Halloween and other family odds and ends that I need to share…so more on that to come.

oh, and I find posts to be more interesting if they have a few pictures in them… so for the sake of keeping it interesting… I thought I would share some of the things I have been pinning lately 🙂

maternity pics

Image found over at Bon Temps Beignet

stamp monogram
Image found at the lil house that could
This is the manner pig… use it at the dinner table, the person who is not minding their manners gets the pig(for being a pig) and the last one with it has clean up duty!

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Idea found at Madsens Memories

Anyone else have a hankering to make a change??

Where to put it all??

I’m sure my problem is a common problem… I have accumulated 29+(oh yes, I am still holding at 29) years of stuff…a couple of times. Five people live in my home. Funny part is that the younger ones tend to have more stuff than anyone else in the house. I have learned that part of keeping an attractive home is learning to organize all of your junk. Oh, and getting rid of stuff that you just don’t use is key as well. Part of getting my home decorated and turned into a place that we enjoy to look at as well as use is getting organized. I have begun in some areas, but it seems each time I clean out one place, I discover 3 more that are over-loaded, under-utilized and just plain unattractive.

So, operation organize is underway. I am going to troll my home for all of the items and areas that need help. Once I have compiled a list of items/areas I can start scanning Pinterest for ideas. I have already put some ideas I found in place, but I haven’t scratched the surface. I believe once I have a solid list of needed areas of improvement, I can start pulling together ideas. Right now, when I start to think about where and what to organize my mind starts hula hoping all the ideas..and I think it makes me dizzy. Or that could be the caffeine from the coffee my husband made this morning…. who knows. I tried to put together a post of all of the organizing ideas that I had, and quickly realized I was oooohing and aaaaahing like 5 different solutions for one area. Step 1 needs to be pulling it all together before I actually try to pin point a solution to implement. So instead I am going to show you some spaces that just make me feel like I need to put my home on that show Hoarders…

pantry

Image found Here

closet

Image found Here
bathroom

Image found Here

Has anyone else been driven crazy by their unorganized home? Or have any neat organizing tips?