Fall Decorating with Painted Leaves

Hi guys!

So, not to rush summer out or anything, but I am super excited about fall. Not sure if it’s the crazy hot heat or the fact that I just love wearing sweaters and boots but I’m ready.

For my fall decorating this year I want to bring in some non traditional colors. I like using color in my home so it kind of just makes sense and everything can transition pretty easily. I’m also excited about the idea of painted things non traditional colors. Like leaves.

Fall Decorating with Painted Leaves

Who says leaves have to been orange and red and brown in the fall? I say they can be copper and gold and aqua. Yes! You guys are going to love this super simple fall decorating project.

Fall Decorating with Painted Leaves

I snagged this bag of faux leaves from Joann’s for just a few bucks. There is a variety of sizes and colors (which totally doesn’t matter since they are all getting a paint job anyway). I laid them out on four pieces of cardboard making sure I got a good mix of sizes in each group. Then I went a spray painted each group a different color.

Fall Decorating with Painted Leaves

It took me less than 10 minutes to spray them all. You want to do this on a day when it’s not so windy because the leaves are really light and tend to get picked up easily. I attempted it one day and ended up trying again on another.

Fall Decorating with Painted Leaves

After the leaves were all dry I wanted to string them up on a large twig I had found. To do this I gave each leaf a very small cut just to create a little hole to string some raffia through. I tied different lengths of raffia to different leaves and tied and the other end to the twig. Really simple. No measuring, I just kind of eyeballed it.

Fall Decorating with Painted Leaves

Currently this is hanging above my chalkboard. I love the black background since it really makes the color of the leaves pop.

Fall Garland in 5 minutes

Also check out the faux leaves garland you can whip up in 5 minutes for just $1!

So, tell me what do you have in mind for fall decorating this year?

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Weekend Links 6

Remember that one time I started a series called Weekend Reads? Where I got to showcase my favorite finds from around the blogging world? Things that inspired me. Well, I’m bringing it back. weekend reads   why_you_need_a_white_sofa_when_you_have_small_children A few weeks ago we talked about new sofas and brown sofas and how I desire a nice light sofa. Kelly explains why her white slipcovered sofa is PERFECT for her small kids and at the price I’m pretty convinced!

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I adore this beautiful and colorful work space. The coral chair and lamp… swoon.

diy handknotted wall hanging tutorial2

The Gathered Home is quickly becoming a blog that I frequent! How beautiful is this hand knotted wall hanging? Love the colors and textures.

DIY-Abstract-Black-and-White-Art

Amy from Homey Oh My DIYed this beautiful abstract art. My favorite part is she shares what inspired this beautiful piece and you’d be surprised what that was!

DIY Flamingo Cookies

Two words. Flamingo cookies.  :)

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I also spotted this beauty over at West Elm*. It’s on sale right now for just $59.99!!! STEAL!!

Have a happy weekend, friends!

*affiliate link
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Back To School Giveaway

Friends!!!

It’s giveaway day. I’m excited about this one!

If your kiddos haven’t already started back to school then I’m sure they will be in the coming days/weeks. Back to school is always crazy busy and expensive!

We thought we could help you out with part of that!

I’ve teamed with 9 other awesome bloggers to get you ready for back to school in a BIG way! You can win ONE $300 Target Gift Card. 

300 TARGET GIFT CARD GIVEAWAY

Enter in the rafflecopter below! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Decorating With A Brown Sofa

So the other day (and by the other day I been a couple weeks ago. ha) I talked about sofas and how I was considering replacing my sofa because it’s super dark and I feel like it doesn’t fit the feel of our home. I brought the idea up to my husband and all he saw was dollar signs. He gave me a laundry list of reasons why we should not be buying a new sofa right now. At the top of the list? A little toddler tornado who is prone to accidents and spills. Okay, fair enough.

Since all of the sofas I had my eye on were very light (you can check them out here) I have to agree with him. As it is our sofa has the ability to hide stains plus it’s already trashed, we might as well stick it out until it’s safe(r). I mean is it ever safe to have a light colored sofa with kids? I guess we’ll decide later! For now, I’m finding a way to decorate with a brown sofa. Not only am going to decorate with this brown sofa I’m going to learn to love it.

Decorating, living with, and loving, a brown sofa

My biggest complaint with decorating with a brown sofa is how dark it made my space. After doing a bit of research I discovered having a brown sofa doesn’t mean it has to be dark and dreary. Check out these bright and beautiful spaces with dark sofas.

Decorating, living with, and loving, a brown sofa

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Decorating, living with, and loving, a brown sofa

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Decorating, living with, and loving, a brown sofa

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Decorating, living with, and loving, a brown sofa

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Decorating, living with, and loving, a brown sofa

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Decorating, living with, and loving, a brown sofa

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Decorating, living with, and loving, a brown sofa

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Decorating, living with, and loving, a brown sofa

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Decorating, living with, and loving, a brown sofa

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Decorating, living with, and loving, a brown sofa

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Decorating, living with, and loving, a brown sofa

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Anyone else living with something that might not be their style anymore? I’m super excited to change up the look of my space so I can learn to love my living room and even my (maybe, just maybe) my brown sofa again.

I’ve got big plans for my living room and I am going to share some ideas with you guys later this week.

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Stylish Drawer Liners

Guys! I’m finally organizing my desk! I’m not brave enough to show you what my drawers looked like before today but take my word for it when I tell you, it was scary.  I wanted to get in organized with some drawer organizers. While on the hunt for the perfect organizers, I found the most perfect wrapping paper and well, as they say, the rest is history.

Line Desk Drawers with Wrapping Paper

I think drawer liners can be a super cute aesthetic touch to any piece of furniture. Of course, I’m sure there is some purpose for them other than just being darling but let’s face it, I like darling, so that’s why I decided on drawer liners for my desk.

Since we all like darling, why is it that true drawer liners just aren’t? One of life’s great mysteries. Until one of us comes up with the perfect line of gorgeous drawer liners we’ll just have to improvise… with wrapping paper.

Yep, wrapping paper ya’ll! So pretty, super cheap, and will take you less than 20 minutes to line 5 drawers!

Line Desk Drawers with Wrapping Paper

I found my striped wrapping paper from Marshalls. Does this not have Chelsea written all over it? Nautical feel? YES PLEASE!

Line Desk Drawers with Wrapping Paper

So to make the drawer liners all you need to do is measure the interior of your drawer. Then, measure your paper to the same size. Measure multiple times you want it to be nice and snug.

Line Desk Drawers with Wrapping Paper

Cut the paper to size. (Please don’t tell my sewing friends that I was using my fabric rotary to cut paper. I’m pretty sure that would get be banned from the sewing club!)

By the way, I have the IKEA ALEX drawer unit. The measurements for the interior are 20.5 x 11.5.

Line Desk Drawers with Wrapping Paper

Lastly, you want to secure the paper drawer liner. I did this quickly by using double sided tape. Double sided tape works well because it’s not permanent so if you ever want to remove it you can without a ton of effort.

How to Line Drawers with Wrapping Paper

Once I was done… literally 20 minutes later I did a little happy dance because really, who doesn’t love some beautiful blue and white stripes. Then I continued on my quest for desk organization…

Line Desk Drawers with Wrapping Paper

Mission complete. Now I’m off to line every drawer in the house… or take a nap.

Happy Monday!

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Sofa Searching

I’m on the hunt for the perfect sofa.

We’ve had our couch for about four years now. We bought it before we even had a home to put it in and I was set on having a sectional…in dark brown. It wasn’t necessarily the worst idea ever as much as it just doesn’t work for us anymore. My style has changed plus we now have a toddler!

Since we’ve haven’t had our sofa too long I looked into just getting it reupholstered. The color is too dark and the fabric isn’t very forgiving when my two year old smears her yogurt hands all over the cushions. :) I called a half a dozen local places and was shocked and horrified at how expensive it is to reupholster! The cost would have been just a bit over what we paid for the couch. I had no idea reupholstery was so pricey! I thought about reupholstering the sofa myself for about five minutes, or even sewing a slip cover. Then, I started looking around at different sofas and thought I would save myself the trouble (and needle pricks).

So the sofa searching begins…

neutral sofa

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My first instinct is to go with some classic and simple like this neutral.

Sofa Searching - 5 beautiful sofas

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Then, I want to be brave and go for something with more character like this chesterfield. I am dying over this chesterfield guys.

Sofa Searching - 5 beautiful sofas

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The modern look and clean lines of this concave arm modern sofa caught my eye and I can see myself loving this beauty for a long time. And the color and texture of the fabric will be much more compatible with my child and her messy nature.

Sofa Searching - 5 beautiful sofas

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Similar to the other concave arm sofa, I love the lines. I think I like the three cushions as opposed to the two and this color is stunning as well.
Sofa Searching - 5 beautiful sofasvia

The uptown modern sofa isn’t my typical style but I’m so drawn to it. I love it but I think it would be challenging to work it in my home.Sofa Searching - 5 beautiful sofas

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When I started looking for a sofa my first instinct was to go snag the IKEA Ektorp slipcovered sofa. I know, it’s white – I was unsure about that too. Do I really want to constantly be washing slipcovers? I could always go for the Svanby Gray slipcovers but they are a bit darker than what I would like. It’s on the list while I think it over.

So which is your favorite? Do you have a sofa you love? Please please share!!

This post contains affiliate links

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Marble Painted Succulent Planter

Marble Painted Succulent Planter

Well, hello there, friends. It’s been a hectic few weeks. Two amazing trips in in two weeks have really got my head spinning! I shared a bit about my trip to Hawaii already but I also went to Atlanta for Haven Conference where I got to meet so many incredible bloggers. When I got home my head was spinning with information and I couldn’t stop thinking of all the ways to improve my blog! Now I feel like I’m finally caught up. Hooray!

So, last week I shared my aloha sign (you can catch it here if you didn’t see it.) for my powder room. I loved the color combo so much I decided to give it another go, this time in marble.

I’ve been loving the marble painted trend and have been waiting for the perfect project to give it a try on. It was so surprisingly simple and now I want to marble everything!

Marble Painted Succulent Planter

A few months ago I got a bunch of these little glass jars and they turned out to be perfect for this project. I taped off the top half of the jars because I only wanted the marble effect on the bottom half.

Marble Painted Succulent Planter

I poured a tiny bit of each color on a paper plate. I think two to three color allows for the perfect mix. Any more and it might get a bit messy.

Marble Painted Succulent Planter

I ran a wooden skewer through the paint to run ribbons of one color into the other to create the marbling effect.

Marble Painted Succulent Planter
Next, I very gently rolled the jar in the paint. I set it top down to let the excess paint drip off and allowed it to dry.

The last step was potting the succulent. I also love it as a little bud vase.

I’m working on the powder room and this cute marble succulent planter will be a great edition.

Succlent Planter

So what do you think of the marble painted succulent planter? Are you in on the marble trend? Tell me in the comments. If you have a marble painted project I’d love to see it! You can tag me on Instagram or leave me a link in the comments.

Have a wonderful and colorful day!

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DIY Hand Painted Wood Sign

Earlier this week I told you about my trip to Hawaii. I’m still dreaming about it. Since I couldn’t bring the beautiful beaches back with me I thought I should do something to bring a little bit of ALOHA into my house in the form of this hand painted wood sign.

Multicolored Hand Painted Wood Sign

I started sprucing up my powder room a few days ago when I realized I’ve had the same decor in there since my first house almost eight years ago (#didijustadmitthat #suredid). I’m planning on a colorful beachy style so I’m starting it off with this aloha sign.

Multicolored Hand Painted Wood Sign

The sign. It is just three wood planks glued together and secured using another small plank and some finishing nails.

Multicolored Hand Painted Wood Sign

The color combo. These colors are just samples that I had in my garage from previous projects. I wanted a colorful and beachy look and I love the coral, yellow, mint combination.

Multicolored Hand Painted Wood Sign

The process. The process of making the sign was really simple. Pretty much just paint brush strokes of the different colors all over the board. I started with coral. Note: If I did it again I would start with the lightest color and move on to the darkest to prevent wasting any paint.

*Make sure to allow for drying time between colors*

Multicolored Hand Painted Wood Sign

Take the second color and randomly brush on the paint to fill in some of the blank space.

Multicolored Hand Painted Wood Sign

With the third color fill in the rest of the blank space. At this point you can also paint over any space where you feel like one color is too over powering. You want to really concentrate on the middle section as that is where your lettering will be.

Multicolored Hand Painted Wood Sign

Using transfer paper I placed the vinyl lettering on the painted board. I used my Silhouette Cameo to create the vinyl lettering. The font is KG Eyes Wide Open.

Multicolored Hand Painted Wood Sign

Then I painted one coat of white paint over the entire board. After the paint dried I peeled off the vinyl lettering to reveal the perfect multicolored sign.

DIY Painted Sign

It’s just so cheerful and is a gazillion times better than that old powder room decor. I can’t wait for the rest of the space to come together. But seriously, can I just have a multicolored hand painted wood sign for every space in my house now? This was way too fun!

Happy Friday friends!

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10 TIPS to Vacation in Hawaii Like The LOCALS

 

A couple weeks ago I was in an amazing place…

HAWAII!!!

If you’ve been around awhile then you know that Matt and I used to live there. We always joke that we had a three year long honeymoon because we moved there just two days after our anniversary!

This visit to Hawaii was incredible. My husband was there on “business” so I flew out for a few days to make it a true vaca.

It was so fun to be a tourist in the island again and but have the knowledge to vacation in Hawaii like the locals!

Have you been to Hawaii? Or maybe you are planning a trip?

I thought it might be fun to reveal some of my favorite places around the island of Oahu. Some of them are tourist spots and some are off the beaten path but all were my favorites as a local!

10 TIPS to experience Hawaii like the locals

10 tips to experience hawaii like the locals

1.  Snorkel the North Shore: North Shore is known for it’s beautiful beaches and gnarly waves but we love the underwater view! Turtle Bay and Sharks Cove are our personal favorites. You will see a ton of sea life including honu (sea turtles).

2. Visit Waimea Bay Beach: This beach is my favorite one to spend the day. We would jump in the car in the morning and not get home until late afternoon. The beach is beautiful, the water is pristine and warm. People come here for picnics and family outings. There’s a nearby cliff that some enjoy jumping off (I’ve never been so brave). It gets busy and the parking area is small so you have to come early but it totally worth it.

3. Visit the Windward Side: The Windward Side of the island of Oahu was never super touristy when we lived there but I did notice that the interest has picked up. There are amazing beaches, great food, and the people are just wonderful! Be sure to check out Lanikai beach, it’s the most beautiful on the island, to me. It’s right next door to Kailua Beach Park which is great for kayaking and paddle boarding. Also, if you like breakfast, I definitely recommend checking out Cinnamon’s in Kailua. Matt loves the carrot pancakes but I just go for the coconut syrup. It’s the bomb.

4. Eat at the Kalapawai Market: This is hands down my favorite place. I get so happy when I see this adorable green little store. Whether it’s grabbing coffee in the morning or my favorite BLTA sandwich for lunch. I absolutely love stopping in; everyone is so friendly, the food is amazing, and it just has so much aloha.

5. Two words. Shrimp Truck: In my mind there is only one shrimp truck. It’s Giovanni’s. There are several along the North Shore and I think most tourists probably stop at the first one they see but if you keep along the road another few miles you’ll see Giovanni’s, recognizable by signature graffitied truck.

6. Drive the Pali Highway: The Pali Highway goes from the Windward side of the island to downtown. We lived on the windward side of the island so driving the Pali became a regular occurrence. Somehow, I forgot about how beautiful it was. The entire drive is lined with stunning landscape. Be sure to stop at the Pali lookout that overlooks the entire Nu’uanu valley, it’s breathtaking.

7. Drive Kamehameha Highway: I think the best part of Hawaii is it’s natural beauty so my favorite parts of the island are the ones where I get to just admire it. Kam Highway allows you to just that. It probably takes just about 1.5 hours to make it from the North Shore to the windward side without stopping but of course, you have to stop. There are lots of lookouts along the way as well as stunning beaches like Sandy’s and Waimanalo, both of which I absolutely love.

8. Try a hike: Locals are very active and in such beautiful weather and surroundings you completely understand why. Get your vacation exercise by trying out one of many hike options. I personally love Mokapu’u Lighthouse. It’s a fairly decent trail and is just a mile each way. The view along the way is breathtaking and certain times of year you can even see whales.

9. Eat at the Beach House: If you have room in your budget for any upscale dining make sure the Beach House at the Moana Surfrider is at the top of your list. When we lived in Hawaii this was our go to restaurant for celebrating. The charming hotel is my absolute favorite one in Waikiki. It’s right on the water, and the food is absolutely incredible.

10. Check out China Walls: Officially known as Koko Kai Beach we just call it China Walls. It’s basically a rock along the ocean so there is a bit of climbing involved but the view is absolutely beautiful. The water slams against the rock so it can get pretty slippery so definitely be careful. We used to love going there around sunset for the one of a kind view.

Have you traveled to Oahu? Share your favorite finds in the comments!

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Nautical Beverage Tray

I’ve been dying to do a DIY beverage tray for a long time now. I’ve seen some really cute stenciled trays but none were quite right.

Now that summer is here, what better time to bust out the beverage tray and pass out some yummy adult beverages?

And because I love all things nautical, I put a nautical spin on it…

Check out my DIY Nautical Beverage Tray

DIY Nautical Beverage Tray

This DIY is super easy and I was able to whip it up in just an afternoon including paint drying time.

Supplies Needed: 

A wood round

Spray Paint

Stencil

Drawer Pulls

Nautical Beverage Tray Tutorial

I sanded down the 15″ wood round that I picked up from the hardware store (I think it was about $10).

Painted Beverage Tray Tutorial

Next, I spray painted the entire piece white. This required a few coats for full coverage.

Anchor Stenciled Beverage Tray_edited-1

Then, I used my Silhouette to create a vinyl stencil for the anchors. You could also use a purchased stencil or print and cut your desired design and use that as a stencil. This project would be great for stamping as well!

After the stencil was firmly in place, I spray painted the anchors navy blue.

Anchor Beverage Tray Tutorial

After the anchors were dry, I drilled holes for the handles. The handles are just drawer pulls that I spray painted gold. Super easy and cheap trick!

Nautical Beverage Tray

This DIY makes the perfect beverage tray for entertaining this summer! Can’t you see this on your summer table? Whether relaxing or entertaining, it’s perfect for both!

Nautical Painted Beverage Tray_edited-1

Here’s some more summer projects you might enjoy:
Summer Citrus Stamped Tea Towels

Citrus Stamped Tea Towels

DIY Nautical Coasters Making Home Base5

Nautical Coasters

Summer Garland in 5 minutes

5 Minute Summer Garland

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Summer Garland in 5 Minutes

Happy Friday!

Now that summer is in full swing have you planned your summer bucket list? Your absolute to-do’s for the summer? I worked on ours this week and put them all up on my giant chalkboard. And then, it needed something special. Like something to make it feel more summery. Like  summer garland.

So, I made this summer garland in 5 minutes.

Summer Garland in 5 minutes

I kind of love any type of garland. Like any. I just want to make and put garland everywhere. Anyone else?

I had some really cute nautical inspired wrapping paper that was simply perfect for this.

Summer Garland in 5 minutes

It started with wrapping paper cut into half circles. My wrapping paper was double sided so I did larger half circles with one side and smaller half circles for the other side.

Summer Garland in 5 minutes

After the half circles were cut I hot glued them to some jute.

Summer Garland in 5 minutes

I ended up with two strands of garland, one of each design, one smaller and one larger.

Summer Garland in 5 minutes

Then I layered them on the chalkboard and secured it with some regular ol’ tape.

Summer Garland in 5 minutes

Perfect addition to my bucket list chalkboard, I think.

Summer Garland in 5 minutes

Now when I’m sitting at my desk working like crazy I can look up and be reminded of all the fun I’m supposed to be having this summer! If that’s not a motivator, I don’t know what is!

Happy summer! I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

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Easy Restaurant Dining with Toddlers at BJ’s Brewhouse

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and BJ’s Restaurants, but all my opinions are my own. #DineInOrderAhead #pmedia  http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

Have you ever been at a restaurant enjoying a meal and you see a toddler in the midst of a ridiculous tantrum? If you live in Southern California there is a chance it could have been my child. Ha. Recently we’ve kind been on a hiatus from any sit down restaurant dining because my toddler isn’t all that cooperative. Truly, I can’t blame here. Most of the time the food takes way too long, when it comes out it’s piping hot so there she is with her plate of chicken fingers and can’t understand why I won’t allow her to dig in right away. Further, she hates highchairs. There aren’t enough coloring crayons on this planet to make her want to sit still in a high chair for the better part of an hour. Does this sound familiar to anyone?

Easy restaurant dining with toddlers

I missed restaurant dining and Peighton and I totally deserved a date night. Since Matt’s out of town I thought now would be the perfect opportunity to try out this new thing that one of favorite restaurants is doing. A new app from BJ’s Restaurant allows you to dine in while ordering ahead. I don’t mean just getting your name on the wait list. I mean they will actually have your order so by the time you get there, it’s ready to go into the kitchen to be prepared.

BJs Brewhouse-3-2

The Dine In Order Ahead feature was super easy to use. I downloaded the app, selected ordered ahead for dining in. I was even able to specify the time we’d be there. Perfect early dinner for me and my munchkin.

BJs Brewhouse-7-2

I went through the menu on the app and selected my order. The BJ’s favorite is my family’s favorite too! And of course no order is ever complete without a pizookie! I promptly got a confirmation email telling me that my order had been placed.

BJs Brewhouse-1

Once we arrived, I gave the hostess my name and told her that I had ordered ahead. She led us to our table quickly and soon our server was there bringing our drinks. I was his first customer using the app so we were both excited to try it out.

BJs Brewhouse-5

There was very little wait time so distracting with coloring and cho0 choo trains was sufficient. She was still coloring away when our food arrived.BJs Brewhouse-6

The was good, as always. I can never go wrong with this pizza.

BJs Brewhouse-8

Peighton agrees.

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As soon as we were finished with our pizza, our waiter, Daniel brought out our pizookie. It was awesome! No waiting to order dessert. It just came right to us.BJs Brewhouse-10

Clearly this is a big hit with the little one.

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Now to my favorite part of all. While Peighton was finishing up the dessert I hopped back on the app to try out  Mobile Pay. This was awesome. Before our waiter could even bring the check (and he was fast) I was able to hop on the mobile pay and pay for our meal including gratuity. It was awesome!

Before we left I had a little chat with Daniel our server. He was so nice. We talked about the ease of the app for both of us I was telling him how wonderful it is for families with antsy kids. We both agreed that it’s pretty much a lifesaver or at least a meal saver.

Make sure you check out the new BJ’s Mobile App.  When you use it for either Dine In Order Ahead feature or the quick Mobile Pay feature, you will save $5 on your order of $20 or more!

BJ’s Mobile App is available for iPhone and Android.

 

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Southwestern Steak Salad with Fresh and Easy

This post is brought to you by Fresh and Easy

Can I just tell you about the double sided coin that is cooking for one (and a half)?

When it’s just me, I usually dread cooking for one. It’s no fun when you have to cook AND clean. ;)

But, I eat so much healthier, meal time is quicker, and because of Fresh and Easy it’s even yummier.

Southwestern Steak Salad

Fresh and Easy Steak Salad-1-7

Fresh & Easy thinks that fresh, wholesome food should be accessible and affordable to everyone. They offer a range of their own brand products and freshly prepared meals, in addition to other favorite top name brands.

Fresh and Easy Steak Salad-1-5

We love popping into Fresh and Easy! The store is smaller and has just what you need without all the fillers. That’s perfect for me because I’m a mama with limited amount of time (I’m sure you can relate) and typically I’m running in with an uncooperative toddler. The small store size ensures that I won’t be rushing around the store looking for my necessary ingredients for more time than I have! Plus their staff is so friendly and available, if I ever can’t find what I need they are there to point me in the right direction.

Fresh and Easy Steak Salad-1-4

Sometimes we run in just before heading to the beach for delicious and healthy snacks to take along.

Fresh and Easy Steak Salad-1-6

Then sometimes we run for dinner supplies. I love their ready to cook pre-seasoned meats. The yummy carne asada is perfect for my southwestern steak salad! And this creamy cilantro dressing is my all time favorite. What’s awesome about Fresh and Easy is that if it has the Fresh & Easy name on it, it’s guaranteed to be free from artificial colors and flavors, transfats, high-fructose corn syrup or any other hidden nasties that are out there. How awesome is that? It feels good to have brands you can always trust.

Fresh and Easy Steak Salad-1-3

Since there is nothing better then fresh produce – I can pick up everything I need for my southwestern steak salad in one place!

In addition to the fresh meat, they also offer fresh bread and fresh fish that is delivered fresh every day!

And for the days when cooking just seems impossible, they even have ready to go meal time solutions. Try the enchiladas. They are a fav!

Fresh and Easy Steak Salad-1-2

My southwestern steak salad was the perfect summer salad. Packed with fresh veggies from Fresh and Easy, romaine lettuce, cilantro, red onions, avocado, and black beans. Topped with the savory and lean carne asada and the creamy cilantro dressing. It’s one of my go to meals for summer! Fresh and Easy Steak Salad-1

If you are in AZ, CA, or NV be sure to check out where the nearest Fresh and Easy is located and check it out! You won’t be disappointed!

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Fresh and Easy. All opinions and love expressed for Fresh and Easy are truly my own. Thank you so much for supporting the companies that help keep Making Home Base going. You can see my full disclosure here.

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10 Tips To Spruce Up Your Rental

Happy day friends, I’m so glad you are here!

Can I tell you something? Something really exciting? I recently had the opportunity to write an article for Military Spouse magazine (!!!!). The article  published this month and it was amazing to see my words there in a magazine! If you are a mil spouse but sure to pick up the June issue of the magazine at your Commissary or exchange!

I was thrilled to write about decorating ideas for military base housing. I’m passionate about it.  After the article published I realized how much that crosses over to renters AND homeowners too.

Spruce Up Your Rental: Here’s TEN of my favorite decorating tips that will make your home feel more yours.

ten decorating tips for renters

Vintage Map in a DIY Rustic Frame

1. Fill Your Walls With Things You Love

Hanging things on the walls is my number one way to make any place feel more homey. Don’t be afraid to put nails in the walls. You can spackle later. Hanging your favorite photos of your family or places you’ve been allows you to tell a story. You want your home to tell the story of your family and all of your adventures. Wall art isn’t limited to just photos. There are many options for wall art such as framing fabric you like, or even framing a vintage map like I did.

Why We Painted Our Rental. Thinking about painting? Here's what you need to know.

2. Paint

Just because you are in a rental doesn’t meant that painting is totally out of the question. Many places now allow renters to paint with the stipulation that it must be painted back to the original color. It may be worth it to paint one room or even one wall. If you are going to be in your home for a few years it can be a great investment of your time and money. Be sure to stick with colors that aren’t too dark and be careful not to spend a bundle on the paint or supplies!

How To Make A Striped Accent Wall Without Paint3. Temporary Wall Treatments

Even if you can’t paint, there are other ways to get color on the walls. You can get vinyl decals, removable wallpaper, or even fabric for walls. Vinyl decals come in a variety of options like polka dots and stripes. All of these are great ways to get pattern and color on the wall. The best part is when it’s time, it just peels right off. You know I love temporary wall treatments because I wrote a whole post about it.

Decorating A Small Bedroom for A Little Girl

4. Hang Curtains

Most base housing doesn’t exactly have the most eye pleasing window treatments. You can cover those vertical blinds you despise by simply hanging curtains. They don’t have to be pricey. You can get a package of two panels white curtains from Ikea for less than $10. Even if white isn’t your color of choice you can easily spruce them up by painting them, adding a trim (like I did in Peighton’s room), or even sewing on a band of colorful fabric.

Painting Furniture - Mint Painted Nightstand

5. Be Bold and Paint Furniture

You can bring color into your home without putting it on the walls. One of my favorites ways is by painting furniture. Painting furniture allows you to make a statement without permanent changes to the house. It also can be very inexpensive if you find a good piece second hand. I painted an old dresser found for just $25 and turned it into a dreamy mint nightstand.

Create A Custom Chalkboard to Hide Eyesores. Awesome Idea for Renters!! via www.makinghomebase.com

6. Hide What You Don’t Like

You can hide awkward spaces easily by covering them with a curtain or a piece of fabric. It will hide the eyesore while adding a bit of color and texture. That’s not the only way to hide what you don’t like. I have an awkward cut out in the wall that connects the kitchen and living room. I covered it with an oversized chalkboard making a focal piece for my workspace.

7. Display Collections

Displaying your collections can really make your house feel like home. Items that you’ve collected over time and have significant meaning to you should always have a place in your home. I love decorating with my vintage jars and displaying my favorite vintage rolling pins.

Where To Buy Affordable Area Rugs: A Complete Buying Guide

8. Use Rugs To Hide Ugly Floors

If I could only have one accessory for the rest of my decorating life it would be rugs! Especially in base housing where the floors are less than desirable most of the time. They work to not only hide ugly floors but define a space. I rounded up some awesome and affordable rugs in this post.

DrumPendant8

9. Change Up Lighting

If you are going to be in a house for several years you don’t have to  just live with the boring and outdated light fixtures. Changing the lighting is a small way to make a big impact. With permission you can change out the fixtures. Can’t change the fixtures? Take heart, there are other options! Check out how Amy created a drum pendant light  cover up to go over her current light fixture. It’s easier than you would imagine!

repurposed planters 5

10. Outdoors

My number one way to give your porch a more welcoming look is to put something on your door! You can DIY a wreath in an afternoon. Make a craft party out of it and invite some friends over. If you prefer to leave off the wreath, try some colorful potted plants. April added some beauty by repurposing thrifted pots and planting beautiful flowers in them. That’s budget friendly and beautiful!

Small things that make a big impact whether you’re in a rental home, home for now, or forever home. You don’t have to spend a lot of money, or even a lot of time. With a little effort and some creativity you can have a home full of character that represents your family; one where you will enjoy all the time you spend in it no matter how long or short that is.

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DIY Wall Art Animal Prints with Polka Dot Mats

When I shared my daughter’s room makeover a couple weeks ago, I got a ton of questions about the animal prints above the bed. Today I’m spilling the beans on how they came to be. Here’s a quick DIY wall art tutorial for ya! DIY Wall Art Animal PrintsAfter we had completed her upholstered bed I wanted to hang some sort of wall art above it. DIY wall art was the obvious way to go since  this was a budget makeover.

Peighton is obsessed with animals! They are her absolute favorite, so I knew we had to include animals in her room somehow. I found some clip art that I was able to download for free and blow up to fit an 8 x 10 mat frame. After placing them in the frame I felt like they still needed something to make them pop. Polk dots, gold polka dots, did the trick! Let me show you how!

Polka dot mats-1

I picked up these black frames from IKEA. I think the black really pops with the bright pink.

Animal Prints with Polka dot mats

These zots found at Michaels made making glittery polka dotting a breeze!

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It comes on this roll with two rows that are offset. Perfect for what I needed. I laid the strip face down and slowly peeled off the backing leaving the glue dots on the the matte. The top and bottom of the matte are wider than the sides so I cut the zots strip in half to add an extra row to both the top and bottom.

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Next, I went wild with the glitter. Obviously. Ha. I just sprinkled glitter liberally over all of the dots and then shook out the left overs, tapping the back lightly to get all the loose glitter.

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Now you’ve got a cute glittery photo mat.

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I placed the animal prints inside and hung them up above the bed.

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Peighton loves to point out which animal is which to us all the time.

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I really love how the polka dot mats really tie into the polka dot sheets to make a really polished look.

If you are interested in the actual animal prints – let me know and I will email you the files! xo

 

 

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Deployment

Yesterday was a hard day.

If you follow me on Instagram you got a quick peek of my sweet baby girl saying bye bye to daddy.

You can never fully prepare for a deployment. This is our third one and it was still hard for all of us.

Peighton thought she was going with him and kept waving bye to me as he was holding her.

deployment day-1

I can hardly believe it’s been a year since he came home. It seems like it was just yesterday I was writing about his homecoming.
Me and my girl are a couple of tough cookies so we are going to be strong and hold down the fort until our sailor returns to us, even if that means ice cream for lunch some days (seriously happened yesterday!)
Everything ends, and this will too. I know that for sure.
I’ll be back to regular project posting tomorrow! Thanks for all of your support everyone! I have the best readers and friends! xo
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Picnic Ready Paper Bag Utensil Holders

Since it’s summer. And since I love picnics. I’m bringing back an oldie.

Picnic Ready Paper Bag Utensil Holder tutorial via makinghomebase.com

Last summer I shared my paper bag utensil holders. They were quite popular even though I spelled bon appétit wrong (ps. I still spelled it wrong). My guests didn’t notice. :) Regardless of my bad spelling they still make the CUTEST utensil holders for picnics! I especially love how easy they are to whip up. The only supplies required are paper lunch sacks and washi tape. The stamping is totally optional. You can do stamping, sticks, hand write your guests names, anything really.

My absolute very thing about these paper bag utensil holders is that they serve two purposes. One, they are a super cute vessel for utensils but they also make perfect little trash bags. Once you’re done with your meal, you can discard any rubbish right into the bag. No more chasing that napkin all over the park, folks!

paper bag picnic utensil holder

1. To make them you’ll need paper lunch sacks, washi tape, and an alphabet stamp.

2. Fold your paper bag from the bottom up at the seam to create a pocket.

3. Seal the side with washi tape. I did this by placing one strip of washi tape on the front allowing it to slightly hang over the edge, then put another strip on the back side so the pieces of tape stick together.

4. Do the same on the other side.

5. Stamp your saying onto the front pocket. I used “Bon Appétit” but I think other cute sayings are “Let’s Eat” or “Chow Time”

6. Stuff with your napkin and utensils

Picnic Ready Paper Bag Utensil Holders

I really look forward to making a gazillion of these this summer for all sorts of beach trips and picnics with friends. Can you just imagine all the fun color combos?

Picnic Ready Paper Bag Utensil Holders

Enjoy!

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Summer Celebration LINK PARTY

It’s A Summer Celebration LINK PARTY!

We’ve been celebrating summer all week by sharing brand new summer inspired projects. Now, it’s your turn! Link up your summer DIYs, home decor, food, and crafts. Any and all things SUMMER. Don’t have a blog? You can still party with us! Share photos of your summer projects on Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #summercelebration

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Before we get to the party, check out these awesome summer projects!

Monday Collage

Tuesday Collage

Wednesday Collage


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