Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Quick & Easy Valentine Crafts

Hey friends! I wanted to share some super easy Valentine crafts that I made this week.

First up, a heart garland made from felt. I kept seeing these pop-up all over Pinterest and honestly figured that I'd somehow figure out a way to screw it up but it really was EASY! I used a couple felt sheets from Hobby Lobby (they're four for $1) and cut out different sized hearts. I sort of laid the hearts out in a pattern I liked before starting to sew but made adjustments as I went along. I pulled the thread out a couple inches before sewing the first heart and just kept adding more hearts as close together as I could. I kept a few extra inches of thread on the other end too, I tied a knot on both sides. I don't know if that's right, but it worked and was easy. The whole thing took about an hour. And I don't think I swore at the sewing machine once, which might be a new record.

Next was a little heart "bouquet" on the front porch (here's a similar idea). I painted several wood hearts (and sticks to match) that I found at Hobby Lobby. Once the paint dried, I hot glued the sticks to the back and that was it! I planned to use the pot housing dead ferns on the front porch but the dirt was so ugly. I glued some pink filler, crunchy paper stuff onto a paper plate and used it to cover the dirt. It's not perfect, but it worked and didn't cost anything extra. Win!

Last up, was making some heart shaped crayons. I followed the instructions over on Pink Pistachio except I did use a silicone tray instead of a metal tin. Head over there if you're interested in making some lovey crayons of your own. I will say that while cute, they seem very breakable. I've already broke two out of the eight I made which is a little annoying. But they're cute and I have a munchkin in mind that I'm going to give them to which makes me happy! :) This is also something that kiddos could easily help with.

All of these crafts can be done start to finish in less than an hour which gives you plenty of time to get them done before the big LOVE day on Friday! Loren and I are planning a whole Valentine celebrating weekend and I can't wait! xo, K

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Under Cabinet Lighting

I've always been interested in adding under cabinet lighting to our kitchen cabinets. I think it looks nice, and with our floor plan I thought it would be nice to add a little more light without having to just leave on the kitchen lights...too harsh for night time movie watching. :) The trouble with under cabinet lighting though, is it's expensive. I'd seen several different options or kits but they were all in the $100 range and I just wasn't interested in spending that much. Enter Ikea. I was there browsing one day and came across this:

The best part? This light set was $30! I knew it would take a little bit more effort to set up since it wasn't meant for cabinets but I thought it was worth a try for the price.

The lights are actually pretty cool. You can customize how you connect them which allows you to fit them to your designated area (a gal I encountered at the store actually used the lights behind her TV). There are these connector pieces that you use to lengthen your row of lights and then they all hook to this hub looking thing for power. (Sorry about the pictures, Loren actually did most of the work while I was gone one day but was sweet enough to snap some cell phone pics for me to share)

We laid out the lights on the counter before attaching them to the cabinets just so we could mess with the sizing without having to remove the adhesive every time. The actual installation is really simple, there's little sticky pads on the back of the lights so you just peel and stick. The cords were a bit trickier. I ended up slicing some 3M strips to match the width of the cords and using that. At first I just used a few pieces and after awhile the cords started to sag, but I added more so basically the entire cord was supported by 3M strip and it seems to be holding up well. There's a few strategically placed thumb tacks keeping the cords in place too.

You like those blue paint leftovers?! The kitchen was a lovely baby blue color when we moved in so I don't know when that bright primary blue color was used. Anyway, this is the hub that you connect all the light stick pieces into for power. I think I mentioned before that there are extension pieces in the light set so it's pretty easy in a relatively small space to get all your lights connected.

The hub (as I call it) attaches to the power cord, and to power the lights our wonky cupboards actually came in handy. Since we don't have an actual corner cabinet, there's open space in that area. So we just plugged the lights in at the nearest outlet and tucked the switch up into the cupboard. Yeah, we have to open the cabinet door to turn the lights on and off but it's really not that big of a deal for us. Especially considering how much money we saved using this little cheapo set.

I love the nice glow it adds to the kitchen. At night when we're in the living room area we can just leave the under cabinet lights and sink light on and it's perfect.

Does anyone else have cabinet lighting? I love it and wish we would've installed it years ago! Let me know what you think in the comments! xoxo, K

Monday, January 13, 2014

We got a puppy!

We got a puppy! Most of our friends and family already know that but I thought I'd share the story for those of you who don't or for family that isn't on Facebook (Hi Grandma!). Meet our little monster, Ruby.

Here's the scoop on how Ruby came into our life. Loren and I had been looking for a dog for several months. We searched shelters within about a four hour drive from our house but had pretty specific criteria that we were looking for in a dog. Apparently our criteria was similar to a lot of other people looking for a dog because it was nearly impossible to find a dog that stayed available in the shelter for more than a day. On a whim, I checked out Craigslist to just see what I could find. Turns out there were some Cockapoo puppies just a few miles away. Loren agreed to go take a look...and the rest is history.

How could you not take that sweet little pup home?! We picked her up on September 15. I'm not going to sugar coat was rough going for awhile. Loren and I have spent our marriage with pretty much no responsibility so the adjustment to being on a puppy schedule was a lot to handle. But, we love her so much and can't imagine life without her now. She really is a good puppy and so sweet. She will try to lick anyone she encounters. Even TSA agents. haha! Okay, here comes the photo overload.

Thanks for indulging me with all the pictures. I might be a little bit obsessed and take a zillion pictures of her all the time. Ruby got spayed last week so it's been an adventure to try and keep her from running all over the house. She's also wearing the cone of shame which is pretty adorable. Sookie is still pretty unsure of her feelings on Ruby. She's interested in coming around but then Ruby chases her and Sookie goes back into hiding.

Ruby brings lots of happiness into our home and we love her lots. I'm sure I'll be sharing lots of Ruby updates in the future. xoxo, K

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Happy (belated) New Year!

Hi blog buddies! Happy New Year...even if the greeting is a bit late. Our year has started out a bit hectic but with a nice weekend at home we're getting things organized and settling back into the routine. Thank goodness! We spent the holidays in Michigan with family and it was exactly what I needed to end the year on a high note. While the weather was a winter storm nightmare, spending time with family and friends was so great. It's amazing what spending a little QT with your loved ones can do for the soul. I felt a little more like myself when I got back home. Here's a look at some of our holiday fun.

I wanted to explain a bit about my absence last year. 2013 wasn't my favorite year. Nothing exceptionally terrible happened, in fact a lot of really great and fun things happened. But I just felt a little bit off. A little more sad than normal, and the happy feelings didn't last as long as I think they should. Feeling like this sort of turned me into a big ol' couch potato. The good news is, I think I'm on the upswing. Loren and I went on a beautiful vacation (which I'll share pics of soon!) and it allowed me some time to do some soul searching. I don't know that I can completely explain what was "wrong" but I think it just became pretty obvious that I need to take better care of myself. Emotionally and physically. Anyway...I have a plan and already feel so much better. Like I said before, spending time with family and friends with the people who really know me best really filled my heart with happiness. You helped me and didn't even know it! :) For those of you who stuck around while I was off in la-la land, thank you. I appreciate it.

I'll be back soon with some updates from the second half of 2013. Hope 2014 has started out wonderfully for all of you! xoxo - K

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Swing lamps for everyone!

Ahh, the never ending master bedroom makeover. I have to say, I'm pretty sick of thinking about the master bedroom. I've been working on it for over a year but just get distracted so easily! I think we're finally in the home stretch though of making it feel more personalized and cozy instead of bare walls and random accessories sitting everywhere. (You can check out the previous updates here, here, here, and here).

The most recent update is new nightstand lamps. When we replaced the nightstands, it quickly became obvious that the surface space was pretty small. I decided that switching out our existing (and non-coordinating) lamps for some swing-arm lamps would be just the solution we needed. Luckily, Loren agreed. :) What neither of us could agree on was the high price of swing-arm lamps! Once I knew that was the direction we wanted to go, and I started shopping, I couldn't believe how expensive they were! I thought I'd found the best price possible on Amazon but it still would've been about $160 total which made me hesitant to complete the purchase. I stalled long enough that I was able to find a winning lamp at Home Depot. For $35! Wahoo!!

The lamp itself requires a little bit of assembly. I'm not going to lie, Loren did all the work installing these lights. But he said that it's easy, just screw the visible wall plate to the portion that actually screws into the wall, and then connect the cord covers together. We don't have any pictures because he was working by himself in a hurry before company arrived! Nothing like a visitor to get our booties in gear! 

Here's the lamps all set up! We're loving them so far! They're great for allowing extra space on the nightstand and Loren loves that he can pull the light closer to him.


 Our nightstands still need a little styling, but Loren is definitely more into function rather than decor. I guess I'd like a mix of both. But this is where we are now, reading in a whole new light. :) Operation bedroom makeover is finally approaching the finish line. What do you think of the new lamps? Anyone else a fan of the swing-arm lamp?