Amazingly Affordable DIY Projects For Your Home

Posted in DIY, Home
on January 19, 2017

Having bought and sold a home, I completely understand how expensive the everyday maintenance can be. That’s why when I see a way to make something I already need and save little money, I’m all over it. Plus I’m a little crafty, so I enjoy painting and sewing whenever inspiration hits.

Every now and then I come across a few that truly mimic the look and quality of their expensive retail counterparts. I get really excited about those types of  DIY’s! For example, this West Elm Bench cost $699 and Ursula of Homemade by Carmona creates an almost identical bench for under $15! When you can save that much money, it’s worth a little extra effort.

Don’t these benches look amazing?

Head over to the Life + Storage Blog and get the rest of these fantastic and frugal DIY’s!

Playful Patterns & Bold Colors in Stacey Blake’s North Carolina Home

Posted in Home, Interior Design
on January 16, 2017

Stacey Ann Blake didn’t know that becoming a stay at home parent to her two young boys would provide the time needed to discover her new design talent. A talent that has landed her in the esteemed pages of Better Homes and Gardens, Simple Spaces and featured on popular blogs like Design Sponge and The Jungalow. It almost seems unimaginable that a woman so talented didn’t know all along.

Her breathtaking Fayetteville, North Carolina home is what designer’s dreams are made of.  A mixture of bold hues like magenta and orange are grounded by rich earthy greens. Eclectic textures and patterns stitch both modern and bohemian styles together seamlessly. Stacey is a gift to the design community and an inspiration for a North Carolina girl like me. Her blog, Design Addict Mom, highlights her thoughts on developing design trends, creative roundups and of course her own amazing living space. Here are a few of my favorites.

This lively chair is the star of the show, displaying its vivid pink color mixed with a striped pattern. The cowhide rug is also a major focal point, creating an unexpected twist in this beautiful living area.

Soft blue wall color acts as the perfect backdrop for bold punches of pink and orange. Intricate patterns from the pillows, rugs and sofa combine for a gorgeous ensemble of color.

This Mid-Century-Modern style chair is a welcomed introduction of deeper color in this space. Various pinks and greens gently cascade down the patterned leaf wallpaper, creating a calming effect.

Oh, to be a kid again! Pictured here are Stacey’s two handsome sons in their magical playroom. A whimsically colored blackboard design creates a sense of wonderment and a myriad of patterns and shapes make this the ultimate fun land!

Photography by: Lea Hartman

Want more of Stacey’s interior amazingness? Read her latest musings at Design Addict Mom and follow her on Twitter and Instagram!

 

the best is yet to come + free planner printable

Posted in Inspiration
on January 9, 2017

As I look in the mirror at the creases under my eyes, I can tangibly see the effects of time. I see that those invisible hours are passing me by whether I decide to use them or not. Youth doesn’t have any respect for time, but the realization of wasted time is like being jolted awake from a peaceful slumber. You’re going through the motions of everyday life, but deep inside you know that you can do more, that you’re capable of much more. Mediocrity feels like an ill fitting garment on me, obtuse and completely awkward.

But there’s a silver lining. I have time to make some changes. I can become more productive and make steps towards the dreams I want to see in the sun. These are some of the questions I asked myself:

  • What shows am I watching on TV and Youtube?
  • Who am I talking to or getting advice from?
  • What’s my daily routine like?
  • What are those comfortable things that lulled me to my wakened “sleep,” state?
  • Are my inner thoughts towards myself compassionate?

I no longer desire to be loyal to dysfunction.


One sided relationships and interactions that leave me feeling depleted  have to go.


Negative and bitter people have to go.


I thought about what I could accomplish if I stopped listening or participating in any form of gossip. I thought about what I could do with my time if I was truly focused. An average life sparked by glimpses of brilliance is not enough for me. And it’s not enough for you either. I honestly believe that everyone is a genius, but everyone doesn’t take the time to discover what really makes them special. There’s a difference between having money and living in your purpose. I know people with 6 figure salaries who still feel lost.

I wanted to share a free daily planner printable with you to spark your creativity and awaken you to your possibilities. I honestly believe that it’s not about being successful, it’s whether you had the confidence to take a chance on yourself despite the possibility of failure. Here are few things I’ve done in the last few weeks from being more cognizant of my time.

  • I took two online photography classes on Brit + Co.
  • Read “Mama,” by Toni Morrison (Great read for pleasure)
  • Started reading Joel Osteen’s “Think Better, Live Better.”
  • Rereading “Unmerited Favor,” by Joseph Prince
  • Participating in more fun and educational activities with my children
  • Expanded my copywriting business with new clients
  • Designed my son Drew’s room and painted his dresser

These are the types of things that keep me inspired, especially taking the classes! Learning a new skill is so exciting! I think I’m hooked!

Grab Your Free Printable Here and start keeping track of your activities and goals.  You need to know that your best days are in front of you! Oh and please be gently with yourself. If you don’t get everything done, just carry it over to the next day. I also label some things with an asterisk (*)which means it’s important and others with “cw,” which means it can wait.

Cheers to healthy, peaceful and productive days!

“So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.” Psalm 90:12

 

Super Fun Sprinkle Marshmallow Pops!

Posted in Food
on December 26, 2016

 

It’s holiday time and everyone is looking for fun and festive treats to make! The children are going to be out of school and we’re all looking for fun and productive projects they can do. Look no further than these Sprinkle Marshmallow Pops! They’re super easy to whip up and are a mixture of airy and indulgent ingredients your tastebuds will love. These pops require very few ingredients but deliver in the taste and fun department.

The sprinkles add just the right amount of crunch and fun color that your kids or guest will eat up. We all know that New Year’s is right around the corner, so why not serve up these Sprinkle Marshmallow Pops with some pink champagne for you and your girls. White chocolate dipped marshmallows, smothered in sprinkles are too delicious and yummy not to try! Get the recipe below.

Makes: 12 pops | Time: 30 minutes

What You’ll Need:

12 Jumbo Marshmallows

2 Cups White Candy Melts (12 oz. Bag)

1 1/2 tbsp. Vegetable Oil

Sprinkles of Choice

12 Paper Straws

Instructions:

Place marshmallows on a flat surface and firmly twist in straw about 3/4 of the way.

Pour candy melts and vegetable oil into a microwave-safe cup. Microwave in 30 second increments until fully melted (about 90 seconds), mixing well each time. Allow to cool for about five minutes.

Dip half of the marshmallow into melted chocolate and twist to allow excess to drip off.

If you’d prefer to fill the gaps around the straw and create a hard shell around the marshmallow, submerge the marshmallow completely until the chocolate reaches the base of the straw. When allowing the excess to drip off, hold the pop horizontally so the weight of the chocolate doesn’t loosen the grip of the straw.

Note: If using this method for all pops, you’ll need an additional bag of candy melts.

Place on a parchment-lined surface to dry (straw side up) until tacky, but not completely dry. You’ll know it’s ready when it’s still wet, but no longer drips when you lift it off the parchment.

Firmly press bottom of marshmallows into a plate of sprinkles, being sure to roll sprinkles onto the bottom edges so some sprinkles are visible when marshmallows are flat.

Allow to dry completely before serving.

Tip:
If marshmallows have dried before dipping into sprinkles, microwave water in a bowl until boiling, pour off water and dry off bowl. Then twist the marshmallow pop around the hot bowl to slightly melt the bottom of the marshmallow pop.

Chamomile + Lavender Calming & Cleansing Balm

Posted in DIY, Life
on December 15, 2016

 

After a long day of writing projects and taking care of the children, I look forward to unwinding and getting a good night’s rest. This task is more or less difficult depending on what I’m going through at the time. Stress is something that we all experience and any healthy way we can ease it, is a great idea. The better rest we get, the more prepared we are for life. Have you ever had a day where you didn’t get any sleep and you still had to function at full capacity the next day? I’m shaking my head just writing this, because it’s painful. Being tired makes us not only irritable but emotional.

I can always tell when my children are really sleepy because they get upset about the smallest things. I created this DIY Calming & Cleansing Balm for helping to quell you and your child’s anxiety after a stressful day or situation. This balm is great to use right after bath, for a peaceful sleep. I’m not a doctor, so please do your due diligence to find out if it’s safe for you to use essential oils. I know the package says to consult a practitioner if you are pregnant or nursing.

This balm is also an excellent Makeup Remover! Yes, the combination of calming essential oils and butters clean, nourish and calm skin. Just take about a dime sized amount of the calming balm and  rub it into your face using small circular motions. After you have applied the oil to your face, wet a clean washcloth with very warm water. Wring the washcloth out completely and rub off the oil. Your makeup should easily come off as well. After cleansing, splash your face with cold water to close your pores.

DIY Chamomile + Lavender Calming & Cleansing Balm

Ingredients:

1/2 cup cocoa butter (prevents dryness, moisturizes and nourishes skin)

1/4 cup olive oil (antioxidants prevent skin from premature aging)

10 drops chamomile essential oil (calms feelings of anxiousness)

10 drops lavender essential oil (reduces stress)

cosmetic glass containers with lids.

Directions:

Heat 2 cups of water on medium high. Add the cocoa butter and olive oil to a glass bowl that can fit over the top without completely being submerged in the water. Place the glass bowl over the boiling water and allow to melt. After the cocoa butter melts, remove from heat and add both essential oils. Pour in glass container and allow mixture to cool for 30 minutes. Enjoy!

What do you day when you need to take a load off after a stressful day? I also use a diffuser not only for relaxing but cleaning the air in my home with essential oils like lemon!

PIN IT!