Wednesday, April 9, 2014

How to easily age terra cotta

Hello all! I am slowly but surely getting our house spring ready! Hopefully I will get it all done before summer! First stop was the mantel since that's the most noticeable area in the living room. I pulled out the moss letters and canvas ruffle wreath from last year. I had picked up a few mini terra cotta pots from Hobby Lobby and wanted to incorporate them somehow. I wanted them to be a little more aged looking so I decided to distress them myself. It is so easy and only took a few minutes to do them. Opening a can of paint when my kids are awake is typically a bad idea but I got it done before they even noticed what was happening. =)

You will need:
  • White chalk paint
  • Small paint brush
  • Terra cotta pots
  • Wet wash cloth
  • Sanding block

First, I dipped my paint brush in the paint and then painted the pot using uneven strokes so the color of the pot still showed through in some places.

It dried really fast so by the time I was done painting it was ready for distressing. I dampened an old cleaning rag and wiped off some of the paint so that more of the terra cotta would show. I also used a sanding block to sand the whole thing down until I liked the way it looked.

And that's it! So easy! I really like how they turned out. I'm thinking about doing some bigger ones for our front porch this year. 

I put little river rocks in the bottom of the pots to fill the space and then added little candles to the top.

Now I'm off to get some spring cleaning done before I pull out my sewing machine and try to make some progress on baby girls room!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Nutella hot cocoa

Last week was a rough one. Claire was sick and missed 4 days of school. She would always seem to get better around mid morning and then start feeling bad again or a new symptom would develop by late afternoon. Maddy was glad to have Claire home as a playmate when she wasn't feeling so bad but by the end of the week they had enough of each other and were constantly fighting. We had a new HVAC system put it which is great as our old one was on its last legs and it's suppose to be a hot summer. But the day they installed it was a chilly one and we ended up being without heat for most of the day. Not so fun. Claire stayed warm in her flannel PJ's but Maddy on the other hand put on a sleeveless dress to romp around in because in like Elsa manner the cold doesn't bother her anyway. For real... she wants to wear a sun dress all. the. time. Summer can't come fast enough. Luckily, I found this delicious recipe to warm us up! I love hot cocoa and this one is so much better than the powder packets. Give it a try while it's still chilly!

Nutella Hot Cocoa

  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp Nutella
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa
  • tiny pinch of salt
In a small sauce pan over medium heat whisk all the ingredients together until well blended and hot. Pour into a cup and top with marshmallows.

Recipe from: The Hungry Housewife

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

French Toast Roll-ups

Who doesn't love nutella? Have you tried it lately? On toast, on a sandwich, as a dip with your favorite fruit, made into a frosting for's amazing.  And I haven't even begun to try out all the endless baking possibilities...cookies, brownies, cakes. I also don't want to kill us all with so much junk so you know... we're taking it slow. A few weekends ago the girls and I were home on a cleaning spree {I was on the spree and they were less than thrilled to be helping}. So before we started our tasks I made this yummy roll of deliciousness for us to eat for breakfast. Let me tell you they are soooo good! Two of my absolute favorite things to eat in the world are chocolate and french toast so you can imagine how much I'm totally in love with french toast stuffed with this chocolatey goodness. Here's how you make them.

Start with 8 slices of sandwich bread.

And cut off the crusts.

Roll them all flat with a rolling pin.

Then spread a little Nutella on each one and add some diced strawberries.

Roll em up!

I forgot to take a picture of the egg part but you will dip them in the egg/milk mixture and then fry them in the skillet with butter until browned just like you would regular french toast. Make sure you turn them so that all sides get browned. Then immediately dip them in the cinnamon sugar mixture.

Breakfast is served! 

French Toast Roll-ups

  • 8 slices sandwich bread
  • Nutella 
  • Diced strawberries
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 Tbs milk
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 heaping teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • butter for greasing the pan
  1.  Cut the crust from each slice of bread and flatten it out with a rolling pin.
  2.  Place about 1-2 teaspoons of Nutella on one end of the bread strip and top with strawberries. (Cream cheese would be really yummy also!) Roll the bread up tightly and repeat with the remaining slices of bread.
  3.  In a shallow bowl whisk the eggs and milk until well combined.
  4.  In a separate shallow bowl mix the sugar and cinnamon.
  5. Heat a skillet set over medium heat and melt a tablespoon of butter.
  6. Dip each bread roll in the egg mixture coating well and then place them in the pan seam side down. Cook until golden brown making sure to turn them so that all sides get cooked, about 2 minutes per side. Add butter to the pan as needed.
  7. Add cooked rolls immediately from the pan to the cinnamon sugar mixture and roll until completely covered in sugar. 
  8. Serve with syrup for dipping if desired. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Bathroom Decor from Ceiling to Floor

Hello all! Today Sue from My-bathrooms blog is here to share some ideas on bathroom decor! Let's take a look!

Hi my name is Sue Jason and I am a blogger at My-bathrooms blog. I have a passion for sharing ideas which include home improvement and decor. You may follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google Plus.

Bathroom Decor from Ceiling to Floor

Decorating the bathroom is a complex matter. There’s so much stuff to fit into a relatively small space and you cannot really leave any of it out! A bathroom with no accessories looks dull and boring (as well as providing nowhere to throw away rubbish, keep your make-up, or even leave your watch as you bathe.) and a bathroom with no toilet or tub simply is not a proper bathroom. It can be easy to miss one or two minor details when redecorating the bathroom, and these can make the difference between a perfect, ideal bathroom and one that does not quite come up to expectations. Make a check list, something like the one below, to make sure that you know what needs to be done in your bathroom.

Dress Up

Ceilings are often neglected in decor themes, painted a plain color, and left alone. In the bathroom in particular, this is a shame as a beautifully decorated bathroom ceiling is more likely to be seen and admired by anyone lying full length in the bath tub. If you don’t want to go over the top, opt for painting the ceiling in a strong vibrant color, and finish it off with a lovely light fitting or even a small chandelier if your bathroom is tall enough.

Color Choice

Choose your bathroom color scheme carefully, opting for a base color (usually a neutral or pastel shade), a medium color (a brighter or strong variation on the base color that is still not too vibrant), and an accent color. The latter should be used judiciously and evenly throughout the bathroom to pick out features and highlights, without ever becoming heavy or too much. On the other hand, if you are a color person, go for vibrant colors. Green is always a safe option as it makes the bathroom feel fresh every time you enter.

Dual Purposes

If space allows, why not invest in matching basins with a shared counter between them? In this way, two people can get ready for work in the morning or bed at night without needing to wait for the other to finish brushing their teeth or washing their face. You can create a wonderful look with two basins, providing each of you with a clearly delineated space for your ablutions.

Hot Foot!

Invest in some underfloor heating for your bathroom to add a truly luxurious and hedonistic atmosphere that will make those early morning bathroom visits a positive pleasure in winter. The only downside is that your cat will love them too, and spread-eagle herself over the heating elements to get the benefit of all that lovely warmth!


Thanks Sue! This post was perfect timing as our bathroom is definitely in need of a little TLC! 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Oyster Cookies

Hello! Today I'm sharing with you how to make these super adorable oyster cookies I made for Maddy's mermaid party this year. They were the perfect addition to the dessert table at her party. And they are so easy to make! I found the idea via Pinterest from this fabulous blog.

You start with the cookie of your choice. I've seen different kinds of cookies used to make these but the shortbread cookies from Voortman are my favorite. They are really delicious and the shape is perfect!

Swirl on your favorite frosting using a star shaped piping tip. I used cream cheese frosting since I had already made some for the cupcakes.

Then add a pearl candy like this to each one.

Top it off with another cookie and voila! Instant cuteness added to your under the sea party.

Get some more party inspiration by checking out our parties page here.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Reversible mermaid tail {tutorial}

I love planning and decorating parties for my girls. I love that for the first couple years they don't care in the least what kind of party they have and I get to chose the theme. =) Around three is typically the age they start asking for a specific kind of party. I usually make them a coordinating outfit to go along with their chosen party theme. Not only is it something special they can wear for their party, it's something they can dress up with for weeks to come. Today I'm going to show you how I made the mermaid tail for Maddy's mermaid party. This costume is very easy to make and you only need a few easy-to-find supplies.

  • 2 yards of fabric (depending on how wide your fabric is you can get away with one yard if you want the same color on each side.)
  • ribbon
  • thread
  • paper to create pattern
  • fabric marker or pencil
  • scissors
  • sewing machine
First, I measured Maddy's waist to see how wide I needed to make the top part of the tail. Her waist measured 21" and I added 1" to that measurement to allow for seams. So the cut width for the top part of the tail is 22". I folded my fabric in half vertically and placed straight pins in to mark where the ends of the tail would be. Since I folded the fabric in half, the measurement from the pins to the fold is half of the cut width (the waist measurement plus 1")--11".

I drew and cut a fin out of paper and placed it along the fold at the bottom of the fabric. Then, using a fabric marker, I traced around the fin at the bottom and just kind of eyeballed the rest of the tail making sure it ended up at the spot I had marked with pins at the top. I measured my little mermaid from her waist to the floor to determine how long to make the tail. The finished measurement from the top of the tail to the bottom of the fin is 23". Plus I added 1" for seams so 24" cut length.

Since my fabric was folded when I cut it out, each side is perfectly symmetrical.

To make the reverse side of the tail I used an old sheet. I just laid the tail I had cut out directly on top of it and used that as a pattern to cut it out.

With right sides facing pin the two sides of the tail together.

To make the tie for the tail I cut two pieces of ribbon each 15 inches long.

I heat sealed the edges of the ribbon with a lighter and tucked them into each of the sides of the tail about 1/2" from the top.

So the ribbon is in-between the two pieces like this.

I sewed all the way around the tail using a 3/8" seam allowance and left an opening at the top about 10" wide.

I trimmed the seams close to the thread being careful not to cut into my seam.

I flipped it right side out through the opening and ironed it flat.

I turned under the raw edges of the opening and sewed it shut close to the edge. Then I topstitched the rest of the tail.

And that's it! Maddy wore hers with a white t-shirt and leggings. And it can be thrown in the wash after a day of play!

To make her shirt I cut the shape I wanted out of felt and used my sewing machine to sew the lines onto the shells. Then I used iron-on adhesive to attach it to the t-shirt like I did in this post

If you missed Maddy's mermaid party you can view it here.