5.02.2013

Virtual Shopping @ Tuesday Morning: Rugs!

 

I’m back today with another Virtual Shopping trip. Yesterday while waiting on my mom at a doctor appointment, my son, Levi & I dropped into a Tuesday Morning store. I hadn’t been to one for close to four years, so I was excited to see what they had to offer.

I found lots of cute furniture, tote bags, baskets and containers galore, and some very affordable bed linens (including some really luxurious queen sized white sheets for only $14.99!! Kicking myself now for not snatching those up….especially considering our sheets are about done for!). One of my favorite pieces was this tufted gray headboard for $299. If I had tons of money and a larger car, it would have definitely come home with me. Oh. My. Word. (Can you tell I’ve been dreaming of some changes in the master bedroom lately?)

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But my favorite part of the shopping experience was the rug selection. Holy cow. I found some fantastic deals on very stylish rugs. I will definitely keep them in mind next time I’m ready to purchase an area rug.  Here’s a roundup of my favorites.

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1) This 5 x 8 was so colorful and fun. And only $160. It would be soooooo fun in a little boy’s bedroom or a playroom.

2) This 5 x 8 was so cushiony, I would have loved walking on it I’m sure. And that sophisticated geometric pattern was fabulous – for only $80. I could see it in guest room.

3) This 5 x 8 was on sale for only $80. I loved how the navy, blue, gray and cream tones worked together, and Levi & I thought it would be great in his room over the wood floors once we rip out that 70s shag red carpet. If I were a little further along in designing his big boy room, and knew for sure it would work, I probably would have brought it home.

4) This 5 x 8 seagrass was only $80 as well. It would add some great texture to just about any space.

5) This 5 x 8 dark gray and cream Ikat was lovely as well for again, only $80.

And last but not least, was this sophisticated glider. It would be fabulous in our music room. I liked the narrow turquoise stripe in the fabric. I think it was about $300 though. More than I want to spend on a single chair. In the poor iphone photo below, I hope you can make out the wicker texture on the front. So much character!

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Well, that does it for this virtual shopping trip. Have you been to a Tuesday Morning lately? What’s the best deal you’ve scored there?

4.09.2013

Great Ideas with Casters Rolling Around!


Lately I’ve been noticing all kinds of things rolling around the Internet with casters. I even created a “Casters” pinboard over on Pinterest to gather some of the best ideas.
Check out this fun little roundup!

PicMonkey Collage casters #

1. I just love the look of this DIY coffee table that Kevin & Layla from The Lettered Cottage created by adding casters to an old chicken crate for his parents’ back porch sitting area. Don’t you just want to curl up there with a good book?

2. Blueprint DIY-ed this fun ottoman from 2 chair cushions, a board and some casters. Quick and easy!

3. Lisa from A Vintage Vine added casters to this simple woven antique trunk for another fun and functional coffee table.

4. Little Pink Monster created a Serena and Lily $118 storage crates knock-off by adding casters to some old crates for rolling toy storage / coffee tables.

5. Better Homes and Gardens suggests adding casters to an suitcase for rolling under the bed storage in a small bedroom.

6. I love this super stylish, vintage-industrial rolling hamper available on House 8810.

7. If you’re into the idea of reclaiming pallets as furniture in your home, why not DIY a coffee table with a pallet and some casters? It would be so great to shift it around from the couch to some armchairs, wherever you want to put your feet up and relax for a while.

8. Another great idea is to recycle a crate or box by adding casters and using it for magazine or toy storage around the family room.

9. Ballard Designs currently sells the fabulous Hartman desk chair complete with casters.

10. Better Homes and Gardens suggests adding casters to a shoe cubby organizer at the back door for a handy seat to roll out and slip on your shoes.

11. I’ve long been a fan of the white Alex drawer unit on casters available at IKEA. It would be great for additional storage in an office or craft room.

12. Or use casters and other items to DIY a hardware kit for some salvaged barn doors.

After reviewing all these fun ideas, I’m thinking of adding casters to our hamper so it’s easier to get from the bathroom to the laundry room…and I’ve also considered adding casters to our island. What do you think? And have you added casters to anything lately?

2.26.2013

Virtual Shopping @ Target


I absolutely love shopping but don’t necessarily like to spend all my money so I came up with the idea of snapping photos of my favorite items with my Iphone as I stroll thru the store and sharing these virtual shopping trips with you all on my blog.

Today we’re going to pop into good ole Tar-jay…I mean…Target. Please note that I’ve gathered these photos over a period of several months, so you may or may not be able to find these items still for sale there.

I thought these canisters were absolutely adorable. For about $45 you could add a punch of fun color to your kitchen. They even have chalkboard labels too!

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For $79.99 you could score this drum inspired side table. I think I saw one slightly damaged on clearance a few weeks later for even less. I think this could look great in any living room or bedroom where you want to add a little industrial flair.

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I’m a huge fan of this red bookcase. I’ve even considered hunting down a similar antique cabinet and painting it a fun bold shade of red like this. I think it would look great in our music room for storing sheet music or in our living room for books.

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While browsing the photo frame aisle, I spotted this fun window pane frame. It would be a great rustic addition to any gallery wall.

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I highly considered purchasing this throw pillow to add some color and pattern to our neutral living room. However, it was a bit high at $29.99 for my tastes.

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If you’re looking at organizing some spaces this spring, I found tons of economical storage containers, as always.

These fun metal “locker” baskets would add a great industrial flair to any space and they were marked down on clearance for about $6 each I believe. I can picture them on some shelves in a mudroom for gloves, scarves, hats, etc. or in a child’s bedroom on bookshelves to categorize small toys.

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There are loads and loads of fun containers down this aisle. I love the bold pink floral canvas totes with lids for a master bedroom closet or the lidded plastic tubs for laundry rooms, bathrooms, etc. And they have some “woven” plastic bins in turquoise and green that would be great for pantry storage. They could easily be wiped down.

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For $3.99 each you could pick up some really cute lidded shoe boxes and also some colorful wire baskets for just $9.99 each.

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I am not sure of the price on this woven basket (I’m guessing $20 or less), but I think it would be great for hand towels in a bathroom or for toys in the family room. So versatile.
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Well, that’s all for now, folks. But stay tuned, because I have several more Virtual Shopping posts coming your way soon.

Have you scored any fun d├ęcor or organizing items lately at Target?

(By the way, I wasn’t perked in any way to share these finds from Target. I just love shopping there!)

2.24.2013

Everything I know about Freezer Cooking. . .


Last summer I decided I needed to do something to improve our dinner situation every night. I had fallen into a pattern of doing 1 of 2 things, neither of which were good – either saying “Let’s go out to eat tonight” because I had no plan for dinner and no energy left to make anything, or on the nights I felt thrifty, throwing something together 10 minutes before dinner and hoping my husband would actually eat it! LOL!

Before I had my son, my midwife highly recommended that I save some meals back in the freezer for those hectic newborn days. I took her advice and turns out it was sheer genius to have some food set aside in the freezer that I could just pop in the oven on a busy day and have a home cooked meal rather than fattening pizza or carryout food. I thought maybe it was time I prepare some freezer meals again for those nights I just didn’t feel like cooking. . .

And then I saw the pin that changed my life over on Pinterest.
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Hold. The. Phone. Freezer meals ready to go straight into the crockpot?!?!?!

No thawing necessary, no baking in the oven. If I couldn’t be home right before dinner to bake a casserole in the oven, no problem, it could cook all day in the crockpot and be ready when we walked in the door.

The other fabulous thing is that many of the recipes I found via Pinterest are extremely budget friendly (especially when you take into account we’re not eating out as much!) and they save me soooooo much time, plus they are fairly healthy (yay for weight loss efforts!). Just look at all these vegetables and lean meats!

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I spent several months scouring the Internets, gathering tips and recipes. The best tips I found came from Jaima’s blog entitled Ring Around the Rosies. Jaima had a way of writing that made me feel like I could just jump right in and do this! She also includes lots of ideas like making muffin sized spaghetti cups for toddlers that you can just pop into the microwave, etc. I also LOVE the recipes over on Six Sisters’ Stuff.

Once I gathered a handful of recipes, I made a giant grocery list of all the foods those recipes would require. Once I had all the ingredients, I just took one entire day where we didn’t have to go out for anything, and prepared each meal one by one. I made a total of 25 meals and determined I could then take the entire next month off cooking dinner. It was heavenly!!!
  • My kitchen was an absolute disaster after an entire day of cooking with a two year running around banging pots and pans. But the more I do this, the more efficient I am getting. It was super overwhelming that first day, but just a couple weeks ago, I threw together 10 freezer meals in under 2 hours while watching 3  young boys.
  • I’ve also noticed that the more times I do this, the easier it is to take other recipes that I have and adapt them so I can freeze them and just add a few ingredients the last 30 minutes of cooking in the crockpot, etc.
  • Another great idea is to work with a handful of other ladies and you each make several of the same meal and swap with them at the end so you all get more variety.
The following are a few of our favorite meals that we’ve tried so far:

Black Bean Taco Soup
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Baked Ziti

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BBQ Spareribs

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Cilantro Lime Chicken

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That last photo came from Jaima’s blog. I do exactly as she does, and I label my bags with a Sharpie to remind myself of how long to cook each recipe, etc. It helps to thaw the bags out the day before as most of these ladies suggest, but I’m so last minute that I rarely do that, and I still feel my meals cook up enough in my crockpot. I just usually cook them on high.

Here’s a link to my Freezer / Crockpot Cooking Pinterest Board.
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I have over 100 separate pins to freezer cooking recipes, tips on what all you can freeze and tips on organizing a freezer cooking day. There are all kinds of fun ideas from freezing avacados and guacamole to coffee ice cubes for iced coffee to loaves of homemade bread ready to be baked.

I even pinned a couple fun things like some free printable meal planners and a link to this site that details what items you can and can’t freeze.

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So, ladies, what’s for dinner at your house this week? Are any of you ready to jump on the freezer cooking bandwagon with me? Wouldn’t you love to know that you could take the next month off of cooking too? Maybe we should have a freezer cooking party!!

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P.S. Here’s another tips I read, if you don’t want to buy foil pans to freeze casseroles in, simply line your pans with foil, put the casseroles inside and freeze them, covering with more foil. When fully frozen, slip the foil-wrapped casserole “block” out and use your pans, then when ready to cook, place the “block” back in that same pan and bake.

1.12.2013

My New Years Resolutions (in no particular order)

Be Happy. Enjoy Life! Sometimes I take everything too seriously. We lost a dear friend this week and going to his funeral today reminded me to better enjoy the time I have with those I love.

Lose Weight. I have broken this down into more attainable sub-goals. My first goal is to get out of plus sized clothing. After that, get into each of 3 sizes that I have boxed up in separate tubs down in the basement. I have essentially 3 entire spare wardrobes waiting to be worn... in storage. I have set a goal that if I don't get into the first tub by March and then the second tub by June then I have to donate those perfectly good articles of clothing. I will workout at least 3 x / week and track what I'm eating with the LoseIt app.



Be Effective. Last year I went thru a depression and some rough emotional times after we made our big move here and opened our own business. I'd love to break some habits that I made last year of ineffectiveness. I want to be a person of impact who makes things happen in 2013.

Paint. Beautify. Make our house feel like our home. A lot of my ineffectiveness came out in decorating our home last year. I was so afraid of what others would think of my choices that I did pretty much nothing. And that's a far cry from what I said I wanted to do exactly one year ago today. So my #1 area to beautify this year is the living room/dining and then probably the master bed and bath.

Preserve Memories. Organize our photos and actually print them, scrapbook them, or put them in albums. And get all caught up so I can start preserving memories in real-time rather than years and years after the fact. And then get rid of all my scrapbooking stuff so I can just digitally scrapbook then. Because this is what my photo/ scrapbooking supply storage cabinet looks like right now. I kid you not.





Potty train our son.

Lunch Date at McDonald's with Mommy

Actually Save Money. 

Well, that's what I've come up with for now. Here's to a new year, folks and a chance to go out and make things happen!
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