Friday, April 26, 2013

No Machine Ice Cream

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Homemade Ice Cream
I am gearing up for the Texas heat by experimenting with ice cream recipes. I ran across this great recipe from Kevin & Amanda that requires no ice cream machine. I played it safe by adding about a teaspoon of vanilla extract to my first attempt. Given how easy this was to create, I was pleasantly surprised at how smooth and tasty it was. Now I know it will not be my last attempt at making no machine ice cream, and I am excited to try different ingredient combinations. I added some shortbread to complete my ice cream, and I enjoyed every last minute of it. I hope you enjoy!

kitchenaid mixer

heavy whipping cream

Homemade Ice Cream

No Machine Ice Cream

What flavor combinations would you like to try?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

What I'm Lovin'

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1. Maybelline's Color Sensational® Lipcolor-Coral Crush: This week I am crushing on the color coral. Well, I truly have been crushing on coral for quite some time :). I think coral is a great color to jump into spring and summer with. Even though I love the dramatic look of lipstick, I rarely wear it to work because I don't like the residue that it leaves behind. Well this product is exceptional! It has changed my mind about lipstick with its creamy texture, and the color is divine. If coral is not your color, there are many more options to choose from.  

2. Mrs. Meyer's Countertop Spray-Honeysuckle: I have been eyeing this product in the grocery store, and I finally made the plunge. If their design and company culture doesn't get you, than there scents will. I chose the honeysuckle, and it does not dissapoint. The scent provides a nice fresh smell without overpowering. (Everytime I clean my house I am reminded of the honesycukle vines at my parent's house. If a cleaning product can make me smile than I am all for it.) Mrs. Meyer's prides itself on using plant based essential oils instead of harsh chemicals. I will have to say that the essential oils do get rid of the dirt and grime just as good as any typical household cleaner I have tried. I also love the versality of this product. I understand it is titled as a countertop cleaner, but I have also used it to clean our grill, bathroom, and the list goes on and on.

3. I am always on the lookout for a bargain. does not dissapoint. I have actually been lovin' this site for over a year. If you like designer duds, but don't want to spend the high price tag than this site is for you. I have always been very hesitant to buy clothes and shoes online. However, my experiences with ideeli has helped to ease that concern. If I didn't like an item, I easily returned it with a full refund. (Keep in mind that not all items are refundable). I understand there are many discounted websites out there, but this is one that I personally like.

4. Mom's Spaghetti Sauce: With a name like Mom's it is sure to be great. Am I right? A dear friend introduced me to this spaghetti sauce about a year ago. I have just recently started to use it in my regular spaghetti routine. I will warn you, because it is different than most spaghetti sauces on the grocery shelves. It does contain whole garlic cloves, large tomatoes, and pieces of spinach. But that is the reason why I love it. It has a wonderful fresh taste, and it has no added sugar.

5. Talking Tables: This product lends itself for party conversations, not only because of its name, but because of the precious party favors and decorations it provides. I first spotted Talking Tables' products when I was with my husband's family in Scotland last summer. As I am planning spring parties, my interest in Talking Tables has reignited. Their products add a certain originality and delicacy to parties. I think it is wonderful that they put so much care and detail into a disposable item. Even though their cake stands are one of my favorite products, I enjoy looking at all of their items.

I hope you have enjoyed this edition of What I'm Lovin'. What are you loving this week? Are you familiar with any of the products above? If so, what do you think of them?

*I was not compensated for this post. The paragraphs above reflect my personal opinion.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

DIY Chalkboard Tray

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DIY Chalkboard Tray

Pinterest has shown me the versatility of chalkboard paint. I have been wanting to repurpose an old aluminum tray, so I decided to take some inspiration from Pinterest and try my first chalkboard paint project on it. The wonderful products available at hardware stores now make chalkboard paint projects very easy. (I am already dreaming up my next chalkboard paint project) If you can paint, you can create this DIY project. I have found many uses for my chalkboard tray; including, but not limited to, a menu board and cheese tray.

I used the following items to create this project: aluminum tray (you can purchase one at your dollar store), Behr Premium Plus Multi-Purpose Primer & Sealer, Rust-Oleum Specialty Chalk Board paint, paintbrush, and chalk.

After I cleaned the tray surface thoroughly, I added the Behr Premium Plus Muti-Purpose Primer & Sealer.

Behr Premium Plus Muti-Purpose Primer & Sealer

After the primer dried, I added the first coat of the chalkboard paint. After the first coat dried, I added the next coat, and so forth. *I added three coats of chalkboard paint. I would recommend adding one more coat for a more complete finish.

chalkboard paint

Rust-oleum chalboard paint

Rustoleum Chalkboard paint

Next, I prepped the chalkboard by taking the side of a piece of chalk and rubbed it onto the surface.

chalkboard paint

I cleaned the surface with a damp cloth, and I was ready to decorate the tray.

chalkboard tray

Chalkboard Menu Tray

chalkboard cheese tray

How would you use your chalkboard tray? Have you ever experimented with chalkboard paint?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

What I'm Lovin'

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My heart is very heavy this week. I am praying for Boston, and most recently the victims of the West, Texas fertilizer plant explosion.  I can’t even begin to imagine what the directly affected individuals are going through. However, I am continually amazed after tragedies like these, how resilient the human spirit is. I am reminded by this very fitting quote by Mr. Rogers, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” That quote proved to be true this week. Some heroic images came out of Boston showing the many volunteers, and emergency personnel stepping up to the plate and helping the victims on-site. Directly after the Boston bombings, my Facebook feed lit up with people wanting to help. They showed support by running for Boston on April 17, and they rallied together to send donations to Boston. Living in Texas, I have also noticed overnight how many people were willing to go out of their way to collect donations for the victims of the plant explosion. These acts of kindness keep me inspired and motivated.

That is why this week I am loving/needing Foundation for a Better Life at is a non-profit organization fostering good behavior and random acts of kindness. In their about me section they highlight, “we believe people are basically good but sometimes just need a reminder.” They help me on a daily basis, because of the inspirational quotes that I receive from them every morning via email. I am sure that you have seen their “Pass It On” commercials, and their inspirational billboards. So if you are ever in need of inspiration, I would recommend taking a look at their website.

How do you find inspiration?

Monday, April 15, 2013

DIY Designated For Baskets

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I am slowly in the process of spring cleaning. This past weekend, I purged some items in our closet and made a trip to Goodwill. I have a really hard time letting go of my belongings. I always feel that as soon as I let my old clothes, handbags, shoes go; I will need them. Eventhough I know that is rarely the case. So, I have created a designated spot for donations to slowly add items that I don't wear/use anymore. I can then choose to donate the items when my basket starts to become full, and I truly haven't worn the designated items in the meantime.

Dry Clean and Clothes Donation Basket

I also added a basket for dry cleaning, so that I can remind myself to go to the cleaners when the basket is full.

This super easy DIY project took about 30 minutes. Its simple use of stickers and pretty paper brought me back to my elementary days, and it was oh so fun :).

I used scrapbook paper, o rings, a hole punch, plyers, adhesive 3D letters, and baskets (I got mine from HomeGoods). I would also recommend using a hot glue gun on the letters to add extra adhesive.

DIY Designated For Baskets

After placing the letters on the paper accordingly, punch four holes on the edges of the paper. From here you will open the o rings with plyers or with your hands, and place them through the hole securing them to the basket. After you clasp the o ring back together, repeat the steps on all four holes. That is all, my friends.

DIY Dry Clean Sign

Clothes Donation Sign

Dry Clean and Clothes Donation Baskets

DIY Dry Clean and Donation Clothes Bag

My personalized baskets sit in front of our clothes hamper in our master closet.

I hope you enjoy personalizing your baskets.

How do you organize to help with spring cleaning?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

What I'm Lovin'

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I mentioned before that sharing/receiving ideas is one of the main reasons that I started this blog. In this edition of What I'm Lovin' I wanted to highlight some things that I enjoy on a daily basis.

the skimm, Badger Headache Soother, They're Real Benefit Mascara, Purely Elizabeth Granola
1. Badger Headache Soother: I suffer from headaches on a regular basis, and so a friend recently picked up this balm for me. It doesn't always help with my headaches, but it does remind me to take a moment to relax and calm my mind. Even if you don't suffer from headaches, the soothing aroma can help you relax and take a moment to breathe on those extra busy days.

2. Purely Elizabeth: Because of my headaches, and to maintain a healthier lifestyle, I have been trying to find healthier options in my food. I become overwhelmed sometimes when I am choosing a granola option, because of all of the choices with amazing promises. However, a recent visit to Whole Foods made me stumble upon Purely Elizabeth. I can't lie to you, the name drew me in ;). But I was pleasantly surprised, when I took it home and tasted it. It had a wonderful texture, taste, and it did not contain loads of sugar. So it is now a regular staple in my morning breakfast paired with plain greek yogurt.

3. Benefit: They're Real! Mascara: I don't like to spend a lot of money on makeup. Most of the time I feel you can get a solid product without having to spend a fortune. However, I recently made a splurge on some mascara, and I am afraid that I won't go back :). I have always loved Benefit products, and when the sales attendant at Sephore recommended their mascara to me, I knew I was doomed. I tested the product at home, and I instantly loved it. It makes my thin lashes full and long, without being cakey. My daily routine does not include eyeliner anymore, because of this mascara. I know that the price tag is steep, but if you are in the market for a new mascara I would recommend this product.

4. The Skimm: I just started subscribing to the Skimm a couple of weeks ago, and now I look forward to it every morning with my cup of coffee. If you want a brief summary sent to your email every morning of what is going on in national and international affairs, I would recommend giving it a try. They break down the news stories into one paragraph. They also link their slimmed down story to the original content (so you can go into more depth if you would like to).

I hope you enjoyed What I'm Lovin' this week. Have you tried any of the products above? What are you loving this week? 

*I was not compensated for this post. The paragraphs above reflect my personal opinion.

Friday, April 5, 2013

DIY Coffee Table Tray

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DIY Decorative Tray

For months, I have been on the hunt for a tray to go on top of our industrial coffee table cart in our living room. I could not find one that fit our color scheme, and most that I liked blended too much into our coffee table. So, when I saw this decorative tray article from Martha Stewart, I knew I had to give it a try.

First off, I will say that this project was a little more challenging than I had anticipated. Here are a few tips that I learned along the way. 1) The spray adhesive makes this project very messy. So be sure that you prep your space properly, so you don't ruin any of your furniture with the glue. 2) To save money, I used two 8X11 glass inserts from frames that I wasn't using instead of the recommended acrylic sheet. 3) I would recommend taping down the back of the tray fabric fold with duct tape. The felt will hide the duct tape. 4) I would also recommend using a hot glue gun to secure the felt to the back of the tray to finish the piece off.

How do you customize your living space?

Hobby Lobby
I also used two 8X10 glass panels, and a hot glue gun with glue sticks.

Decorative Tray Fabric

Hobby Lobby Fabric

Duct Tape

Hot Glue Gun


Industrial Cart Coffee Table

Industrial Cart Coffee Table Tray

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Hunting for Antique Treasures

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This past weekend, my mother-in-law and I spent many hours looking for treasures at the biannual Antique Weekend(s) in Round Top and Warrenton, Texas. Some may call the treasures junk, some may call the treasures antiques; but we just call it a lot of fun. The landscape and charm of Round Top and Warrenton offer the perfect backdrop for treasure hunting. We found some wonderful treasures, and after some major haggling for bargain prices I took some treasures home. 

Round Top Antique Fair
There are hundreds of tents to choose from to start the treasure hunt

Flea Market
Some may call it junk, but I call it potential fun

Antique Show

Vintage Toys
Vintage Toys


I fell in love with this late 1880's wood leaf frame holding a beautiful embroidery message. My mother is a wonderful embroiderer, and her pieces are showcased throughout my parent’s house. This piece reminded so much of my childhood home and I hope it brings the same comfort to our family that my mother’s pieces do. I think I found a perfect home for it in my kitchen next to our dining table.
Embroidery Sign

Wood Leaf Frame

I really liked the next piece instantly.  The beautiful carvings and legs, and skinny stature made it a great fit for our entry way. I added a bowl for our cell phones and keys. The shabby chic finish was recently added, but I think it brings out the detailed carvings of this antique piece. I also think it fits well with the embroidery hoop art I recently created.
Shabby Chic Table
Austrian Table

Shabby Chic Table

The last item is set aside for a future project. These legs were once a part of a Swedish Textile Presser.  I plan (with the help of my husband J) to turn it into the base for my craft table. I hope to complete that project soon. So stay tuned! 
Industrial Table Legs
In the meantime, I just had to share a video of the cutest vintage wind-up toy we saw last weekend. I hope you enjoy!

Monday, April 1, 2013

A Look Back at March

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I hope that you and your family had a wonderful Easter. I had a splendid Easter full of family time, with numerous reminders of how blessed I am.

On this first day of April, it is now time to take A Look Back at March. I look forward to what April will bring. Please let me know if you have any DIY ideas or requests. I am always looking for new ideas. Until then, please enjoy A Look Back at March:

March 5, 2013 ~ Kale Chips  

March 8, 2013 ~ DIY Tassel Garland

March 11, 2013 ~ How to Crackle Paint

March 13, 2013 ~ BBW: Copper Tea Pot

March 18, 2013 ~ Homemade Crepes


March 21, 2013 ~ Colander Planter

March 27, 2013 ~ Inspiration Cabinet

 March 29, 2013 ~ Golden Easter Eggs

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