inspiration, projects

an empty wall…

Unfortunately, our house doesn’t offer a lot of opportunities for wall art. The entire rear wall is mostly windows and the rest tends to be small bits of angled wall interrupted by doors or stairs. Our one large wall is the one I stenciled (shown here) and has a simple mirror to break up the busy pattern.

Recently, we moved around some furniture in order to better showcase this beautiful Amish dry sink we got from my husband’s grandmother.

DRYSINK

 

We had used it upstairs as a changing table but felt like that kept it waaay too hidden for something this great. So, we moved it downstairs into our dining/kitchen area and now right above it is a huge empty wall.

emptywall

 

As soon as I saw it, my wheels started turning…what would I put there? Something wooden/antique? Framed artwork? A shelf for seasonal items? I love gallery walls, but already have one up the stairs – evidenced here.

Then…I remembered seeing an idea while back and wishing I had a spot for it – a plate wall!

I love the vintage look and feel like it could really mesh with our modern farmhouse style. So, I started browsing around the web for some inspiration and found these:

platewallfavs

image sources here, here, here & here

I can’t wait to get started – but this is definitely going to be a work in progress as I watch for plates at thrift stores and slowly build a (cheap) collection that will work. I checked Goodwill today and found nothing that was even remotely cute. This might take me even longer than I had expected! Once I have something to show – I’ll share some pics and prices.

My one dilemma is this: my uber-symetrical brain loves the more organized version, but I feel like the whimsical version that travels up the wall might be a better fit for the shape of my available space. Thoughts? Concerns? Suggestions?

freebies, my favs

freebie – desktop wallpapers for April

It’s already April – time to change up your desktop wallpaper for this month!

Here are my favs from around the web…

aprilwallpapers

April Brings Spring via Smashing Magazine // Nautical Summer via WedgieNet.net
Colorful Raindrops via Pepper + Buttons // A Welcome Rain via Greenhaus

 

And my Desktop Wallpaper Freebie:

(download your screen size below)

easterpeepswallpaper1024x768

1024×768 \\\ 1280×1024 \\\ 1680×1050 \\\ 1900×1200

I hope you enjoy these – I’ll be back next month with more!

my favs, printables

freebie – desktop wallpapers for March

You know the drill – time to change up your desktop wallpaper for this month!

Here are my favs from around the web…

marchwallpaper

Crazy Enough from Smashing Magazine // Gold Spots from Oh, Those Prestwiches
Wooden Stripes from Smashing Magazine // Clovers from Sarah Hearts

And my Desktop Wallpaper Freebie:

(download your screen size below)

Screen Shot 2014-02-27 at 10.32.24 PM1024×768 \\\ 1280×1024 \\\ 1680×1050 \\\ 1900×1200

I hope you enjoy these – I’ll be back next month with more!

featured, my favs, reviews

cutest phone case on the block

phonefi

Cell phone cases. I have always had issues with cell phone cases. I mean, I want my phone to be adorable, but I also want it to be protected – and I don’t want to pay a ton of money. Have you seen the prices of some of those cases?! Yikes. My last iPhone case was from the clearance section at TJMaxx – it said it was supposed to fit my phone, but somehow the camera hole was cut wrong and it covered the flash, so I had to pull it off if I ever wanted to use the flash. Yes, it was pretty ghetto, but it cost me $4!

photophonecase
my new Shutterfly case!

 

Now, my phone not only has a fully functional flash, but I also get tons of compliments on the case every single day.

It’s a photo iPhone case from Shutterfly and it is so cute. It was super easy to design using the templates on the Shutterfly site and it came in less than a week. I got it a few months ago and was curious to see how it would hold up. My phone gets a lot of use (from the 2 crazy boys who play Angry Birds) and it’s been dropped its fair share of times and this case has held up great. It does exactly what you hope a case will do – protects your phone – this case just looks great while doing it.

Now that we’ve added a new family member, I want to get an update with new family pictures (in these pics, he was still in my tummy). Check them out – I think you’ll love them as much as I do!

I did receive a free product from Shutterfly to review for this post. However, I always give my honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences about products. I would never recommend something I don’t personally love. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the bloggers’ own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.

 

deals, featured, my favs

A delicious store-bought pie?

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Mrs. Smith’s for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

There’s nothing worse than seeing a delicious pie at a party and digging in only to realize that it’s a nasty store-bought pie with a terrible crust. I love pies, but I am rarely ever impressed with non-homemade ones. So, when I received the chance to try out some of Mrs. Smith’s Signature Deep Dish pies, I had my doubts.

MrsSmith.jpg

Mrs. Smith makes 4 different flavors of deep dish pies:

  • Signature Deep Dish Dutch Apple Pie with Caramel Sauce
  • Signature Deep Dish Cherry Pie with Butter Fudge Sauce
  • Signature Deep Dish Peach Pie with Cream Cheese Icing
  • Signature Deep Dish Pumpkin Pie with Cream Cheese Icing

 

The biggest disappointment I had with the pies, was that I had a really hard time finding all of the flavors. I went to various Wal-marts and could only find the Cherry pie with butter fudge sauce. Sadly, I was excited about trying the others, but struck out at each location.

The cherry pie was super easy to bake – I even had my 4-year-old help me get it ready so that he could say he baked his own pie. (Preparation included unwrapping, putting foil on a cookie sheet and cutting slits in the crust.)

The pie came out looking delicious and he was so proud of himself. In addition, it turned out delicious! The crust was golden and flakey. The filling was tart and sweet. Everyone in our family gobbled it down very quickly.

It came with a butter fudge sauce, but we didn’t feel like it was absolutely necessary to the flavor of the pie. We prefered it on it’s own with a little bit of whipped cream. One great thing about the pie is that it is even good leftover. I might have even snuck a piece for breakfast this morning….

Luckily, you don’t have to take my word for it – you can try them yourself! Mrs. Smith’s has given me 4 coupons so that you can try each one! Not only do you get to try out all of the deep dish pies, but they have also given a $50 Williams-Sonoma Gift Card! You can pick up any missing kitchen accessories you might need or you could always get a lovely pie pan and switch your store-bought pie into it after baking…then no one will know you didn’t bake it!

How to Enter:

3 entries possible:

1. Leave a comment letting me know which pie you are the most excited to try and what you would use your Williams Sonoma gift card on.

2. Like Mrs. Smith’s on Facebook and leave a comment letting me know you did it.

3. Follow Mrs. Smith’s on Pinterest and leave a comment letting me know.

The giveaway runs through next weekend – Sun., Jan. 27th, so enter quickly!

Visit Sponsor's Site

featured, kids, my favs

My Favs – Pre-School Books

 

 

My lil’ guys LOVE reading – which makes me a very happy  book-loving Mommy.

We take weekly trips to the library and I always hit up the book section at Savers & Goodwill for cheap books.

I thought I’d share some of my favorite recent finds:

 

We love Oliver Jeffers…especially these two:

How to Catch a Star

 

Stuck

My 3-year-old can quote every word of this book…

 I Love You, Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt

 

We’ve read this one so many times, even I can quote every word…

How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food? by Jane Yolen & Mark Teague
(we love all of the ‘How do Dinosaurs’ books)

This one is especially great with the Tickle Monster mitts…

Tickle Monster by Josie Bissett 

What books do your pre-schoolers love? I am always looking to add more to our library!

 

This post contains affiliate links to Amazon.com – if you choose to purchase books using these links – I will receive a small portion of the purchase price.

deals, my favs

Shop Smarter Online with PriceBlink

I love shopping online.

Even when it’s not in the budget to buy something, I online “window shop.” I like to fill my cart with lots of things I want but can’t afford.

 

Most of the time, however, when I am actually shopping shopping online, I am on the lookout for a deal. I always, always, always google coupon codes before I buy anything. It’s amazing how many times I’ve found a free shipping coupon code or some percentage off. I love that feeling…but it does take extra time.

 

This week I tried out a tool called PriceBlink that claims to help you automatically find lower prices online – sounds too good to be true, right?

 

PriceBlink.com is a website where you can search for coupon codes and online deals – it’s nifty, but you still have to go to the website to find the deals.

 

The best part of PriceBlink is the browser add-on. You install an extension to your browser and then anytime you are shopping online, a little bar shows up at the top of your browser that looks like this:

 

The PriceBlink add-on has 3 specific parts:

  1. Are you looking at the cheapest place to buy the item?
  2. Where else you can buy it and for how much (includes shipping costs)
  3. Add to a wish list button (using your PriceBlink account)

 

I’ll give you a real-life example of some shopping I was doing for my hubby for Father’s Day (I gave him specific instructions NOT to read this blog…)

I was shopping for a new iPhone case because his broke.

The PriceBlink bar drops down and tells me that the case I’m looking at is substantially cheaper at newegg.com. So, of course I jump over there and order it for cheaper.

 

PriceBlink also alerts you when there are coupons available for the site you are shopping on:

While I was on Target.com there were 10 coupon codes available – pretty cool, right?

 

And the best thing is that the bar stays hidden while you browse the web and only drops down when it has important information to share with you – that way it isn’t annoying.

For a video demo click here or to read more or download the add-on click here.

 

I’m a big fan and will definitely always have it installed on my browser – it’s free, helpful and saves me money. That’s my kind of tool!

Let me know if you try it out – I’d also love to know if it saves you some money the next time you are shopping online!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

inspiration, my favs

Friday Favorites – Blogs I’m Diggin’

Last week I shared Fonts I’m Diggin’, so this week I thought I’d share some blogs/sites I’m really loving right now:

Modern Parents Messy Kids

Engage Your Kids, Simplify Your Life, Find Your Style
  • Favorite Post: How I Organized My Entire Life (this post cracked me up – I even read it out loud for a workshop I did)
  • Why I love it: Simple, but creative parenting ideas, great photography, awesome organization tips
_________________________________

 

Nice Girl Notes

blowing minds since the 80s
  • Favorite Post: Girl vs. Suburban Bathroom 
  • Why I love it: I have no idea how I stumbled over to Nice Girl Notes, but from the first post, I was hooked. She constantly cracks me up – and I’m not usually easily humored. Oh, and her Cute Stuff Sale is incredible. I sat through my first one when we were living in Mexico and my husband thought I was a psycho because I didn’t even want to get up to go to the bathroom. It was that exciting. And I bought an awesome scardigan.
_________________________________

 

Rage Against the Minivan

  • Favorite Post: Gun Control 
  • Why I love it: Honesty. It’s rare to find a blogger who seems to write really well, but it doesn’t sound like a news article. It really sounds like you’re sitting and having a great conversation. Conversations about funny things like kids and poo, but also good conversations about life, adoption and parenthood. You won’t be disappointed.
_________________________________

So You Think You’re Crafty

10 weeks – 10 crafters – you decide
  • Why I love it: I love competition…and crafting, so this is the best of both worlds. The ideas are awesome and I love stopping by to vote each week. I don’t think I’d ever have the guts to compete…yes, I’m a weenie.

_________________________________

 

Baby Half Off

A Deal a Day. Always Half Off or More
  • Why I love it: Great deals! I’ve bought some things for at least 50% off of the price in stores. I’m still waiting for their Cold Seats (car seat ice packs) to come back. And if you live in the Gilbert area, you can pick up your items and pay no shipping!

 

my favs

Eclos Skin Care Review & Giveaway…#EclosBeauty

This post brought to you by éclos Skin Care. All opinions are 100% mine.

It’s true. I’ve never been good at a skin care regiment. I’ve never been one to have a bed-time routine – I’m usually so tired, I just fall right in to bed.

Most of the time, I use whatever is in the shower to wash my face: shampoo, body wash, bubble bath. It really hasn’t ever been a big deal because I have pretty good skin.

So, I was skeptical whether I would be able to committ to using the éclos Skin Care Anti-Aging Starter Kit…it has lots of steps and you need to do them twice a day. However, since they sent me a free kit, I figured it was worth a try.

Eclos_StarterKit.jpg

First off, I was so excited about the terrycloth headband…I know, it’s silly, but you just feel cooler washing your face with a snazzy headband.

The starter kit contains a facial cleanser, clay mask, eye cream, face serum, facial scrub, and regenerative cream, all of which contain high-potency plant stem cells for cellular rejuvenation. These stem cells stimulate your skin to behave like younger skin. I haven’t ever felt like I needed anti-aging products, because I’m only 28, but recently I have noticed the beginning of fine lines under my eyes and between my eyebrows. And I’m not even 30 yet!

I was a little overwhelmed the first time I went through all of the steps – I had to have my directions right there to guide me through it all. I didn’t think I’d be able to get it down, but after two times of doing it all, I didn’t have to use the guide.

My favorite product out of the pack was the Instant Radiance Facial Scrub. It left my face feeling so smooth and smells great. I also loved the skin renewal clay mask – it dries quickly and leaves your face feelng super clean.

The biggest benefit I found was that my skin tone became more even which means I wore less make-up – that’s a big bonus! My skin also feels incredible – I didn’t notice any fine lines decreasing, but I did only use it for one week.

Warning: I do not ever put photos of myself on the internet with no make-up.

Overall, I really enjoyed this product – the only part I didn’t continue to use was the Moisture Therapy Regenerative Cream because it made my skin pretty oily. However, my skin never felt dry or like it needed any sort of moisturizer.

 

YIPPEE, A GIVEAWAY! 

Guess what?! You can win an Eclos Anti-Aging Skin Care starter Kit! (valued at $19.99)

Just leave a comment stating which product in the kit you are most excited to try.

I’ll announce the winner on Monday morning, so enter by Sunday, May 20, midnight.

U.S. Residents only.

One entry per person. The winner will be determined by random.org.

Hopefully, you will enjoy this product as much as I have!

 

Visit Sponsor's Site

my favs

Friday Favorites – Fonts I’m Diggin’

I love fonts. It’s true. I won’t tell you how many are on my computer, but let’s just say it’s well over 700. Ridiculous…I don’t even come close to using them all, but it’s comforting to know that they are there waiting just in case I decide I need one of them.

I was inspired by Eighteen25’s “Fab Fonts” post to share some of my favs…all free, of course!

Hope you find something you like!

download here:

Ostrich Sans // Brannbol Smal // Ripe // Matilde // Signerica