Sunday, September 30, 2012

Moving Tips and Tricks


Thankfully, we are not moving any time soon.  However, in the first 9 years of our marriage I believe we lived in 9 different places.  Yup.  That averages one move a year.  Holy cow.  I do NOT recommend that at all!

But it is inevitable that at some point most of us will move.  If you are lucky you will have a moving company but for the first 9 moves of our marriage, we didn't.  And packing, moving and unpacking is a ton of work.


So here are a few tips on how to make a move easier, less stressful and perhaps even a little fun:

  1. Start Early - as soon as you know you are moving, begin packing things that you know will be unnecessary between now and then.  Then every day pack another box or two.  It's amazing how many things we don't need to use every day.  
  2. Music to Groove By - music makes almost any situation better and singing / dancing to it can be a great way to relieve stress.  Make a packing playlist to help the packing feel less monotonous.  
  3. Go for Paper -  at least a week before the move, pack your dishes and most of your kitchen up.  Eat on paper plates and use paper cups.  Not the best option for the environment, but a great option for your sanity. 
  4. Throw is Away or Keep It - over the course of our lives we acquire many belongings and many of them have sentimental value.  When moving from one home to another, especially if the new home is somewhat smaller or if it is designed differently, our valuable items may not find a place there.  If you have items that you want to keep, but can't find a home, you can check out USstoragesearch.com Blog  and www.usstoragesearch.com for tips and tricks.
  5. Pack It Up - pack the belongings that you know you can't live without in suitcases, as if you were just going on vacation.  Then pack everything else into boxes.


Happy packing.

Thanks to TextLinkAds for sponsoring this post.

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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Simply Link Party


Thanks for joining me for this week's Simply LINK PARTY!  I can't wait to see what you've created!


In case you've missed it, come and check out what I did this week:

Got Milk Happy Halloween FREE PRINTABLE
Topiaries...Topiaries...Topiaries VIDEO
So you're and Interior Designer...what does that mean??
Colored Candied Popcorn and cute Halloween Jars using Etch Glass Vinyl
Sheet Moss Topiary
 If you've missed any of this week's fun, I'd sure love for you to click on the links!  

 Now it's time to PARTY!  Please link up your latest creations.
  • You can link up pretty much anything as long as you "created" it (Food, craft, home decor item, a beautiful garden, a photograph, etc.  I am really flexible!)  
  • Please keep it family friendly.  
  • Please no links to shops or giveaways.  
  • I reserve the right to delete any links that aren't appropriate. 
  • By linking up you are giving me permission to feature or show off your project (I will link back to you of course.)
  • Also, I would love it if you linked back to my site and mentioned on your blog, facebook or twitter about my link party!  Help me spread the word please!
And please visit 2-3 other links and leave them a nice, meaningful comment!  Thanks! 







I would love for you to follow me on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, Pintrest and via email.
I participate in the link parties found
here.

Vampire Got Milk Halloween FREE Printable and gift idea

I had an epiphany the other day, probably while in the shower because that is where most of my inspiration comes to me at.  (I don't think it has so much to do with the shower, more that that is the only time I spend alone every day.  It's quite in there and my thoughts often lead to fabulous inspiration.)  Anyway, I had the idea to combine two current loves in my house; Halloween and flavored milk straws and create a fun, free ghoulish vampire printable for a little gift idea!

Got Milk (says the cute little vampire teeth)  Happy Halloween

There is room below Happy Halloween for your child to write their name if giving this as a gift.  These are so cute and so easy to assemble!


Just print the images (you need to print these two PDF files as a double sided image, one image on the front and one image on the back.)  Then cut these ghoulish little treat holders out.

Fold the bottom portion up to create a little pocket for the flavored milk straws to go into and use double sided tape to adhere the sides together.

Insert your milk straws and enjoy gifting a Vampire-ish Halloween treat!


Download my free printable here and here.  Note: you will want to download both files, one is the front and one is the back.  Print one file on one side of card stock and the second on the back of the same card stock.

If you like this idea will you please take a moment to Pin It?  

You can purchase flavored milk straws by clicking the image below:

  


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I participate in the link parties found
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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Contemporary Flash Sale Website


Decorating your home can be a major challenge. And home decor flash sales sites are becoming an ever-popular way to find unique products for your home at great prices!  In many home décor and home furniture stores, you can find a few pieces that you like for one room, and you may find a couple that you like for another room. And sometimes it is a challenge to create a cohesive, uniform and entirely stylish look while shopping at many stores.


Decorativ is a fun new home decor flash sale site with contemporary and other types of home décor items. This online source features an amazing selection of merchandise that can be used to decorate every room in your house. Here, you can find wall-hangings, kids’ décor, living and family room furnishings, kitchen housewares and more. The website makes it easy to decorate your entire home with a unique yet cohesive style because it features only merchandise with an upbeat, modern style. While some merchandise is contemporary with shades of black, gray and white, many other options feature striking, bold hues that are common with modern décor.

So if you  love flash sale sites and if you  have been looking for some unique or contemporary fines, take a moment to check out Decorativ!

Thanks to Link Vehicle for sponsoring this post to help spread the word about a 
new contemporary decor flash sale site!
I would love for you to follow me on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, Pintrest and via email.
I participate in the link parties found
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Topiaries...Topiaries and more Topiaries... {VIDEO}



Oh wow, it is certainly no secret that I LOVE making topiaries!  They are fun, simple and can be a high-impact design element!  In addition, they can often be done simply and inexpensively!

A few weeks ago on Fox59, I was able to show off a few of the topiaries I've been creating recently!  Click the link below (or the image) and you'll be taken to Fox59's website to view the segment directly!



You can also see my step-by-step tutorials for creating the topiaries by clicking the image below:

  
 
I would love for you to follow me on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, Pintrest and via email. I participate in the link parties found here.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

So you're an Interior Designer, what does that mean!? {Life as an Interior Designer: Part 2}



I've decided to write this series because I have received countless emails, phone calls and in person conversations about this topic.  The person talking to me is interested in becoming an interior designer, or decorator...but they aren't sure what the requirements are and which one they want to be!

Last time I told you all about the differences between an interior designer vs an interior decorator.  I wanted to explain the difference because I find many people don't understand which one they need to help them with their design project!  And to help those who are considering becoming an interior designer or decorator.  

So if you want to hire a designer / decorator or want to become a designer / decorator!  (or if you're just curious!)  This series is definitely for you!

At the end of my last post, I may have left a few of you wondering if I am an interior designer or a decorator!  In summary, it was a trick question; I am actually both an interior designer and an interior decorator!

I have fulfilled all the requirements to be a Certified Interior Designer in most states and I am also a decorator.  It's a really fun job actually, to be able to do both!

This installment of Life as an Interior Designer will look a little more closely at what an interior designer actually does!

So what is an interior designer, and what do they do?

Well, it depends a little, but the basics are the same.  There are commercial interior designers and residential interior designers.  Simply put, some of us prefer working on commercial buildings and others prefer working on the homes of their clients.

The extent of projects that we can do varies by state and local laws as well as personal preference and experience.  But, in a nutshell, we can do everything an architect can do except specify load baring walls (ie the walls that hold a building up.)  Yup, Interior Designers rock like that!

We have more classes, instruction and training in space planning and ergonomics then architects and less classes in math and structural weight baring loads etc.  So we exit school better equipped to space plan a space that  is usable, function-able and pleasant to be in!  (But don't ask us how to hold the building up because that is not our area of expertise!)

Both architects and interior designers are required to know state and local building codes, laws and basic building standards and materials.

Interior designers can specify exterior design as well as interior design.  We can also choose finishes, fixtures and equipment.  And yes, we can even "fluff pillows" if we want to.  However, we also need to know that stairs have specific height and width requirements they need to meet and how many exists you need to have in a particular type of room / building and which way the doors are required to open depending on the space.

There are a lot of building codes, spacial standards and building materials we know.  But that is actually what first drew  me to becoming an interior designer!

Yup, you read that right.  Building codes and standards, specifically the fact that stairs are required to be certain heights and widths, drew me into the world of design!  (I sound super nerdy huh!?)  But it's the truth!

However, there was one HUGE problem in my way!!

to be continued...
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Monday, September 24, 2012

Colored Candied Popcorn




I've always wanted to make that really pretty, brightly colored candy popcorn.  I tried it once using a friend's stove top pan and it didn't work well at all.  (She can do it, but it was an dismal failure for me.)  And using jello didn't seem like a tasty or economical way to do it, I like jello, but I didn't want my popcorn tasting like jello.  So I finally found a recipe that not only tasted yummy, but also was super simple too!  My kind of popcorn!


Colored Candied Popcorn
recipe adapted from Midwest Living here

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup un-popped popcorn
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light Karo syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp vanilla (estimate)
  • food coloring (optional: see below for my color combinations)
Directions:
  1. Pop popcorn according to preferred method.  I have an old-school hot air pop corn popper similar to this one here.   
  2. Remove all un-popped kernels.
  3. Place popcorn on a cookie sheet or in a large bowl.
  4. In a heavy-duty 2 quart pot, melt combine sugar, Karo syrup and water.  Cook over medium-high heat until sugar is dissolved (mixture will be boiling).
  5. Clip a candy thermometer on the side of the pot and continue to cook, stirring frequently, over medium heat until it reached the hard crack stage (about 300 degrees).
  6. Remove from heat and remove thermometer.
  7. Add vanilla and food coloring and stir until combined.
  8. Quickly pour candy coating over popcorn and mix together using a sturdy spoon or spatula.  
  9. Allow popcorn to set and break up the popcorn into smaller chunks if desired.  
  10. Enjoy!

*Check out my super cute Halloween Etched Glass Vase Tutorial here
To make these bright colors, I used the following food coloring formulas:

Orange: 36 drops yellow + 3 drops red
Green:  36 drops yellow + 6 drops green
Purple:  24 drops red + 10 drops blue


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I participate in the link parties found here.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sophisticated Sheet Moss Topiary




A few weeks ago, I created a Moss Topiary for my home and I just love it!  This type of topiary is so quick to make, so simple and fairly inexpensive!  And I love how it looks!  Add any sheet moss topiary like this to a room and it instantly adds a bit of life, green (without needing to water it), and sophistication!  Topiaries are a classic element that when presented in an updated way, add a touch of fabulous design to any space!


There are many types of moss, and you can use any type you prefer, but for this craft, I choose to use a bright green sheet moss!  You can buy this by the sheet or by the roll at most craft stores near the floral supplies.


Supplies:

  • Styrofoam Ball (mine was a 5" ball)
  • Additional Styrofoam to secure in container
  • Small Container (I love the $1 section at Target, they always have a variety of metal pails!)
  • Wooden Dowel
  • Moss (sheet or other)
  • Shredded Paper (or similar) to fill the top of the container with
  • Hot Glue Gun (low temp is best because high-temp can melt your Styrofoam)
  • Ribbon (optional)

Directions:

1.  Using your hot glue gun, secure one end of the wooden dowel into the Styrofoam ball.  Be sure the dowel is inserted at least a couple of inches into the Styrofoam for a nice secure fit.

2.  Using your glue gun, hot glue your sheet moss to the Styrofoam ball.  Making sure to overlap areas if necessary in order to cover the ball completely!

3.  Use your hot glue gun to secure additional Styrofoam into the bottom of your container.  The tighter the fit, the better!

4.  Insert the other end of the wooden dowel into the foam in the container and secure using hot glue.

5.  Add shredded paper or similar to the container.

6.  Add a ribbon if desired to the wooden dowel.

Enjoy!


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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Simply Link Party





Thanks for joining me for this week's Simply LINK PARTY!  I can't wait to see what you've created!


In case you've missed it, come and check out my cute Circle Topiary here:



Now it's time to PARTY!  Please link up your latest creations.
  • You can link up pretty much anything as long as you "created" it (Food, craft, home decor item, a beautiful garden, a photograph, etc.  I am really flexible!)  
  • Please keep it family friendly.  
  • Please no links to shops or giveaways.  
  • I reserve the right to delete any links that aren't appropriate. 
  • By linking up you are giving me permission to feature or show off your project (I will link back to you of course.)
  • Also, I would love it if you linked back to my site and mentioned on your blog, facebook or twitter about my link party!  Help me spread the word please!
And please visit 2-3 other links and leave them a nice, meaningful comment!  Thanks! 





I would love for you to follow me on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, Pintrest and via email. I participate in the link parties found here.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Simple Circle Topiary




If you have followed me for any length of time, you have probably caught on to the fact that I like topiaries :) Topiaries are fun, versatile and incredibly SIMPLE to create so they are right up my alley!

Last week I shared a SIMPLE and super CUTE Tutorial for how to make this Simple Circle Topiary over at Uncommon!


Please go to Uncommon to check out the simple totorial for this topiary here!

I would love for you to follow me on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, Pintrest and via email.
I participate in the link parties found here.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Time for "THE TALK??" - Tell All Tuesday


Oh man.  It is tough having kids sometimes!  And eventually, every one of us has to have the "talk" with our children.  I am not worried about it, or nervous, and I have come to realize that this is not about one monumental "talk" with your kids at a certain age, but it is about constantly giving them age-appropriate answers when they ask and when they are read for it.

(PS - I realize this is a complete left-turn from what I normally talk about on my blog, but I know many of my readers are in a similar stage of life as I am, and when I find something great, I want to pass along the information...so please bare with me a few minutes as a delve into un-tread waters on my blog :)  But that's what Tell-All Tuesdays are about, right? :)

Anyway...back to giving age-appropriate information to our children...it sounds good in theory right?  But in practice, I sometimes struggle with how to give age-appropriate answers that both answer my daughters question without giving them more information then they need or are ready for.


Over the course of the last few months, my daughter has definitely been asking more questions and I have always tried to answer them honestly and appropriately, I don't ever want her to feel worried about asking me questions.  But I tell you, her questions would come out of no where, in the oddest places, at the oddest times and they never fail to catch me off guard!

After one such conversation with  my daughter a few months ago, after a random question was asked in an inconvenient place,  I was talking to a few friends and one of them suggested a book.  A book?  Yup.  A book.

Wonderful Way That Babies Are Made, The


She lent me her copy and I read through it, and while at first I was skeptical, I soon became quite impressed.  It is a child-appropriate, christian-based, children's book.  But, I knew my daughter wasn't quite ready for it at the time.  So I returned the book to my friend and tucked the name of it away in the back of my head so when I felt she was ready, it would be an appropriate read together as a family.

A few weeks before my daughter started kindergarten, I knew she was ready for, and needed more information.  So we read the book together.  (Please note: every child is different and their need for information comes at different ages.  Use your own judgment when talking to your kids about things like this, this is just what worked for us.)

I know, that sounds weird huh!?  A book!?  I am NOT trying to cop out of telling her the facts of life, I promise.  But the book provided a great jumping-off point for discussion!  It gave age-appropriate information for a young child in an easy to understand way.

And what I love about this book is that there are actually two different parts.  Larger text to read to the younger children and smaller text to read to an older child who is ready for more information.

Again.  I am NOT trying to get out of having these conversations with my daughter by reading a book.  It was merely a starting point.

In the book it literally starts with the Christian-based belief that God created the world, animals, plants and people.  He could have kept on creating everything, but instead he gave plants the power to create new plants, animals the power to create new animals and people the power to create new people.  And goes from there!  Brilliant!

This is not graphic, and it is not offensive in my opinion and the younger kids version is definitely appropriate for a 5 year old in my opinion.  It gives basics.  Basics for a young child.  Not detail.  It uses proper names, for example, that a baby grows in a uterus not the belly without being offensive or explicit.

Anyway, I am not trying to sell you on a book, or how to tell your children the facts of life, and I realize that this book will not be everyone's cup of tea.  But if you sometimes wonder "where do I start!?"  You might want to check out this book.

Wonderful Way That Babies Are Made, The

It was a great conversation starter for my daughter and opened up the topic in a new way that has lead to more good open conversations.  Which is what I want for my children, to have open communication!

When my daughter is older, we will read the smaller text version, and I  know that will not be the end of our discussions about the topic, but it has been a great way to get over the initial anxiety and start an open line of communication with  my daughter!

I was in no way compensated or even asked to do this book review.  
I did include an affiliate link however in this post.

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