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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

It's more than just a {nest}

 It's more than just a nest.  A home is not made of four walls.  That's a house.  A home is filled with sweet laughter and tears, joy and thankfulness, music and dessert, mud and a mop to clean it off the floor, toys scattered all about and laundry galore.

For the last year, my family has been on the adventure of a lifetime, in between here and there, and I've been dreaming of a sweet house we could call our own.  These months haven't been easy, no adventure worth traveling ever is, but if its one thing I've learned throughout this process its this, if the Lord calls you to it, He'll lead you through it.  I also realized it wasn't as much a house I longed for these last few years, as much as a home.  

I had it all along.   

As you sit reading this blog today, remember this.  In the end, its not how beautiful our house was that will matter, but how incredible our lives were while living within the comfort and safety of its walls.

So have a picnic on the living room floor, laugh a little more, give thanks to the Lord, have a family fun night, go for a bike ride...

 resume date night with your husband, throw the Frisbee in the back yard, enjoy the fellowship of family and friends, but whatever you do live life...

...and leave a beautiful legacy!

Live, laugh, love, teach, hope and give.  Because its more than just a house in which you reside.  Its your home, and your home is a representation of your life.  Its a gift from God.  Live it well and above all, may you be blessed!

...where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 
Luke 12:34 


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Featuring You

Hi dear friends! How was your weekend? Not long enough you say?

I completely agree! ;)

Well, I hope no matter what you did, that it was a fun weekend for you all!

Tonight is our third "edition" of "Featuring You" Sundays...I have yet to come up with a different name for this, as I noticed that I was not the first to think of this, and it is already being used. :)

But first I want to thank you for the time you took to leave me your thoughts on the painted vanity, and whether it should have a chalkboard, mirror, or a memo board. It really helped to get your opinions on this, and I so much appreciate it! You are all unbelievably sweet!

Now for a few of the beautiful things I've seen while reading your blogs this week:

Mandy from Creekside Creations made this wastebasket, an amazing Ballard Designs knock-off.

She took this:

And created this:

The price tag for Ballard Designs' wastebasket?


But Mandy only paid one dollar for her wastebasket, and used what she already had on hand for the rest!

Mrs. Tiff made these gorgeous fabric heart charms. I just love the sweet chiffon roses she added to them, too!

And then I cannot leave out this one, her Union Jack inspired heart charm...I think my heart literally skipped a beat when I saw this one!

Every single one of the sweet heart cushions she has made are so lovely!

Another project that caught my eye recently was this Bus Scroll Project that Tina from Rubies' Place made:

I love how she went about creating this personalized work of art! It is inexpensive to make, but oh-so-chic!

And I have to include this up close photo! Isn't it gorgeous?

{Every one of these ideas is creative and inspiring!}

Thank you to Mandy, Mrs. Tiff, and Tina for letting me feature them tonight, and thank you all for stopping by! :)

I hope you all have a good night, and a wonderful Monday!



Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A painted vanity, a question, and the bathroom ceiling

Hello friends! :)

I hope you are having a good week so far!

I want to show you a little painting project I am finishing up, and get your opinion on something, if you don't mind!

I have had this half finished vanity for a very long time, for over a year, but just wasn't sold on it being white.

I then decided gray would be nice, but which gray?

Originally, I was thinking of a lighter gray, but fell in love with this color...

(Stone Mason by Valspar)

Have you ever had a piece of furniture that you almost gave up on? Well, that was this piece...and in the end, I found it needed the darker gray to give it a bit of elegance, and to help it stand out a little.

(And here it is pressed up against the wall for now. I just finished painting it, and so I haven't decorated it yet.)

I have little glass knobs for each of the drawers that I will put on...

But here is the dilemma, and this is where you come in...I hope...

Originally I was debating painting the mirror with chalkboard paint, but now am wondering with the darker gray, would that be too much?

But perhaps it would be prettier to leave it as a mirror?

OR...the last and final option, I could turn the mirror into a little linen memo board?

I cannot decide.

Mostly because I like making conventional things unconventional...and creating something different out of the mirror would do that. But then again, maybe it would be nice to keep it as a mirror?

And now I am just repeating myself, so here is the real question:

What would you do? I want to hear your thoughts...please save me from myself! ;)

Thank you so, so much!

And now for the bathroom ceiling...

I have again dragged my poor, but sweet, husband into a project that would require his help. It involves some of this:

...and a couple of Saturday afternoons, to transform this:

(our ugly, boring ceiling, in our ugly, boring master bath.)

...Into something pretty. It should be all installed this weekend!

Now he doesn't completely understand why I would bother with the ceiling, but sweet guy that he is, let me pull him into yet another one of my hair brained ideas! ;)

It is not my own original idea, but instead something I saw on another blog last year...

I am actually redoing the whole bathroom while I'm at it, too! It desperately needs to be painted again! I will be sure to show pictures of the ceiling when it is *finished*!

I hope you all have a good Thursday, and thank you so much for dropping by! :)

Much love,



Sunday, February 13, 2011

Have A Heart {A Valentine's Day Treat}

Hi sweet friends! :)

I hope you had a fun weekend!

As you know, tomorrow is Valentine's Day...I am SO excited about this! Valentine's Day is a big deal at my little nest, and we are having our usual family party tomorrow night!

(My husband and I already went out to dinner earlier this weekend.)

One thing I personally love about Valentine's Day is baking special treats, and I tried one this year that will be a tradition, I think! :) I found it at one of my favorite baking websites, Joy of Baking, and it was just what I was looking for!

{Shortbread with White Chocolate & Raspberries}


2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup confectioners' (powdered) sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


1/2 cup of raspberry jam

2 ounces white chocolate, grated

Shortbreads: In a separate bowl, whisk the flour with the salt.

In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer) beat the butter until smooth (about one minute). Add the sugar and beat until smooth (about two minutes). Beat in the vanilla extract. Gently stir in the flour mixture just until incorporated. Flatten the dough into a disk shape, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill the dough for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F with the rack in the middle of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

On the lightly floured surface, roll out the dough until it is about 1/4 inch thick. Using a 2 to 3 inch cookie cutter (round, square, heart, etc.) cut out the dough. Place the cookies about one inch apart on the prepared baking sheets. Use a small cookie cutter (3/4 to 1 inch) to cut out the centers of half of the cookies on the baking sheet. (You will be sandwiching two cookies together and there will be a small "window" or "cut out" in the top cookie so you can see the jam underneath.) * Tip: I kept the little hearts that I cut out and baked these, too. My kids loved them!) Place the unbaked cookies, on the baking sheet, in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes. *This will firm up the dough so the cookies will maintain their shape when baked. Bake for about ten minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.

* (I wanted the shortbread to be softer, not crisp, and so I did not bake them until lightly browned, but removed them just before this.)

To assemble cookies: Place the cookies with the cut-outs on a wire rack and dust with confectioners' (powdered) sugar. (I used my flour sifter for this.)

On the bottom surface of the full cookie (top of cookie will face out) spread with about 1/2 teaspoon of jam.

Sprinkle with a little grated white chocolate, if desired. ( I didn't use it on mine~ just personal preference.) Place the cut-out cookie on top, and sandwich together gently, being careful not to smudge the confectioners' sugar.

Using a small spoon, fill the cut-out with a little more jam.

And enjoy!

{Makes about 12 sandwich cookies.}

I hope you all have a wonderful Valentine's Day! Thanks so much for coming by, and have a good night! :)

Blessings to you~


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Featuring You {Sunday Edition}

Welcome to this Sunday's {Featuring You!}  This week I {Belle} discovered three fabulous ideas from sweet blogs I follow.  I must say, when I saw the ideas below, it got me thinking of things I can do, now and in the future, as I move toward my picture of beautiful.  The possiblites are truly endless!  

The first, came from Mandy {Creekside Creations} who had a great idea when she gave these old frames a new life.  I would totally love to create something similar and place it on a wall near the entry way of my home.  Its just so welcoming!  One of the reasons, Mandy's post caught my eye, is because I have a small collection of old frames, so I realized this was not only possible, but affordable too!  Another reason, is the word she chose, "simplify" and the paisley background.  I {adore} paisleys and I've gotta say the word, "simplify", describes me with a capital T.

{close up}

{i'm lovin it!}

The second idea, that got me thinking, came from Katie {On The Banks of Squaw Creek}. Katie dreamed up the best and most cost effective solution for making pretty storage boxes. She took a diaper box, covered it in pretty fabric, thus making durable storage bins.  What's not to love?  The way I see it, I am a mother of little ones, I've got a diaper box or two handy, so I could easily make some of these storage boxes.  I like how Katie chose fabric over paper to cover the boxes, much more durable than say, the scrapbook paper I mod podged on a box the other day.  I like.

{oh' the possibilities...}

{when you think outside the box.}

The third idea that captured me came from Julie {Less Than Perfect Life of Bliss}. Her idea was nothing short of inspired.  She took a coffee table and turned it into a window seat!   I love the fabric she choose and the new color paint for the bench.  Not only is this once coffee table now a comfy place to sit, it also has some great storage space below!  Yes, I have a one tracked mind that runs in one direction--organization.  What I liked about Julie's creation is that it could be used in more than one way.  For instance, if I ever have a chance to make something similar, I would place it in the entry way of our home as a bench, so one could sit down in comfort to remove or put on shoes.  I'd also put some of those pretty storage boxes, shown above, in the space below for accessories such as gloves, hats and flip flops.

{From ordinary...}

{ extraordinary}

Three creative solutions.
Simple. Affordable. Beautiful.
Oh yes, I like.

How about you?
If you are in awe like me, be sure to stop by the blogs of Mandy, Katie and Julie and let them know!  Until we meet again, blessings!

{All photos used courtesy of Mandy, Katie, and Julie.  Thank you!}


Friday, February 4, 2011

Old Photographs on the Galvanized Metal Window

Hi sweet friends!

I hope you had a good week, and that you are ready for the weekend! :)

(I know I sure am!)

Well, I wanted to first tell you sorry...I think I have won the infamous "Worst Blogger Friend of the Month" award...Okay, but if there was such an award, I won it for sure! Between a trip to Phoenix last week, and working on our home like crazy this week, I did not do very much blogging. I hope you know how much I appreciate each one of you, and the time you spend here. I don't take you for granted, I promise! I will be coming by to visit you, and can't wait to see what you have been up to! :)

{Yep, I'm nosey like that.} ;)

Well now...I wanted to show you a little something, nothing huge or elaborate, just something kind of fun. :)

When I added galvanized metal to an old window, I originally intended to make some glass magnets, and use it as a magnetic memo board. However, I found it looked so cute on the mantel, that it stayed there...just like this...

Somehow a memo board didn't quite fit over the fireplace. ;)

But when Danielle at My Blessed Serendipity Life suggested using magnets to display pictures on it, I knew she was onto something! I love this idea!

{Thank you, Danielle!}

The older I get, the more I feel connected to the past, and to those who were a part of it.

Many of them I never had the privilege to know. I know them only through the stories my parents have told, but it has given me just a little glimpse into who they were.

There is something about looking old photos that touches my heart. I wonder what they were thinking. Often the faces look so serious, I think they must be thinking very deep thoughts...but perhaps they are just thinking that their clothing feels rather uncomfortable, and wondering how much longer until the picture is taken?

Now if you would like to make your own window with galvanized metal, you can find my tutorial here.

If you would like to make your own glass magnets with fabric, I have included a tutorial here as well. I know that glass magnets are nothing new, and that there are probably only about 1,000,000 tutorials for them online! I just decided I wanted to figure it out on my own. I'm strange that way: I either want to do it "no compass" or I want an extremely detailed tutorial. It all just depends. Therefore, I have included the detailed tutorial. (In case you wonder why I include every.single.step. in my tutorials, that is partly why.) :)

I can tell you that my glue gun couldn't help me out this time.

I can further tell you that my trusty mod podge didn't work with the fabric...go figure. :)

{How to}

This glue is awesome! Put a nice sized dab on the flat side of the magnet, and spread it evenly with a foam brush. Let it set for about ten minutes.

Trace a glass magnet onto your desired fabric. I used lace hem tape. {I am all about hem tape right now.}

Press your fabric cut outs onto the glass, and let dry.

Because my fabric was transparent, I had to back it up with some white felt, so you would not see the magnet!

More glue...

When it has dried, you can glue your magnet on. I found I had to put a generous amount on both the magnet and the felt. I pressed down until the glue oozed around the edges, and set aside at least over night, if not for about 24 hours. When I tried to use it too soon, the magnet came off! So I just gave it more time, and now it's not going anywhere!

And there you go...just in case you wanted to know! ;)

Well, I hope you have a beautiful weekend! Thank you for stopping by! :)

Much love~


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Creative Solutions, Maximizing Your Space

If you are a parent, you know how quickly puzzles can accumulate.
If you also have a small amount of space allotted for those puzzles, you understand it can be frustrating figuring out how to fit them all in.

Here's how I {Belle} solved this dilemma.

First, I broke down each cardboard box.

Depending on the size of the puzzle box, I used a quart size or storage size plastic bag.  
I then chose either the front cover of the puzzle from the box or a side piece.

I simply placed the cover inside the plastic bag...

Added the puzzle pieces...

...and voila!  

All our puzzles neatly organized with room to spare!

I like.