Monday, February 22, 2016

St. Patrick's Day decor

Well friends February is coming to a quick end and with March right around the corner it is time to get ready for the next holiday! 

With St. Patrick's Day and Easter both falling in March this year it can be hard to decide which one to decorate for.  For me St. Patrick's Day isn't a day of drinking but of reflection on my heritage.  My paternal Grandmother was of Irish decent and I can remember her telling me stories of why the Irish celebrate St. Patrick's Day and how they used to celebrate it. 

In Ireland St. Patrick's Day is a religious holiday as St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland.  Legend has it he rid the island of snake and other slithering vermin.  He also converted the Celts from Paganism to Catholics. 

My Grandmother use to tell me that in the USA we celebrate by remembering the homeland by wearing green (to remember the Emerald Isle) and eating favorite Irish foods.  I can remember standing on her kitchen chair helping her make Irish Soda Bread.  I even used to get to use the knife to cut an X in the let the fairies out.   

At my house on St. Patrick's Day or if it falls on a weekday the closest weekend date, we have corned beef (NO cabbage - YUCK), potatoes and green beans with my Grandmothers soda bread.  In the past I've had nametags for guests and a list of Celtic or 'traditional' Irish names or everyone to pick from. Irish music plays and I put my picture of Kylemoore Abbey up over the fireplace.  I bring out the few St. Patrick's Day decorations I've got and add any green accents.   

 I made the 'LUCK' last year it was super easy to do you can get the directions here.

So back to St. Patrick's and Easter being close together this year and to decide which one to decorate for.... you have a decision to make.
1.  Decorate for one holiday at a time so St. Patrick's first then it comes down quickly and Easter goes up.
2.  Decorate in a combination of each

I decided for #1.  So I decorated for St. Patrick's Day everywhere but my dining room. 

I do have my St. Patrick's tablecloth on though.  I bought some hydrangeas from Wal-Mart and stuck them in the centerpiece. 

On my poor broken buffet I have a craft I did last year as well.. this cute shamrock made out of buttons.
You can see how I made it here.

After St. Patrick's Day I will change things over to Easter.  Speaking of Easter and spring... I'm going to try to make a 'wreath bunny' we'll see how that goes but next week it will either be a success or FAIL! 

BTW... look at this cute adorable little guy...
I got him at Pier One... they have a bevy of bunnies to choose from but I absolutely love this little guy. 

Thanks for stopping by I appreciate you reading! 


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Monday, February 15, 2016

HELP I've got some outdated things in my house

So this post is about things I need to around my house.  I have an average size ranch 1100 sq. feet on each level; 4 bedrooms 3 full bathrooms.  It was built in 1970 so while I've got some 70's house issues (small rooms and really small kitchen) I've got some unusual 'problems' (cathedral ceilings in the living/dining room) - gosh how do you decorate those crazy high walls?  I've also got a really large dark red brick fireplace with an even darker rustic railroad tie mantle.... how the heck do I decorate that? 

Here's a reminder of my fireplace.

Large half a wall and outdated.

So this is what I thought - spray paint the gold face silver.  What do you think?  OR will that look odd with the rustic mantle?  What other color could I paint it?  Black??? 

Should I paint the brick white?  Gosh that does scare me a bit because if I mess it up it is then messed up.  I wish I was braver to just paint the brick.  Does anyone know of any good tutorials on how to do this?  Do you think the brick will look bad with the rustic mantle? 

I'd also like to make my kitchen bigger.  I mean it is less than 8x8.  I'd love to knock the rest of this wall out between the kitchen/dining room.
Here is the window we knocked into it because the wall is load bearing. 

 This is the wall from the kitchen.  See it is so small and I don't have enough cabinets that I had to hang my pots and pans. 

Then I really need to do something with this buffet.  The leg broke and we can't figure out how to fix it properly so here it is still holding together with black duct tape. 

Since it isn't worth anything any longer and there isn't a sentimental value I am still thinking of painting it, at least the bottom and refinishing the top and staining it dark. What do you think....
As you can see it is also damaged from years of sitting in the sun so painting it would really bring it out.  Now... color - robins egg blue?  mint?  gray?  or another shade?  What is your opinion? 

Next on the 'list' is our master bedroom.  I need new curtains.  The one's there are like 10 years old and dark brown VELVET.  YIKES talk about outdated. 

Spring makes me think of light colors overall but I'm not a pastel fan but I have been thinking of lightening up the house.  While I love the blue walls should I lighten the shade say 2 or 3 lighter OR should I forget this silly adventure and embrace the dark side that currently engulfs me?? I do love rich jewel box colors. 

I'd love to hear your opinion really because I can't make up my mind really.  I've got decorating ADD - there is something about almost every style that I love. 
Industrial - love the metal/wood look
Farmhouse - love the Joanna Gaines style
French Country - love the lines and the use of bright and muted colors
Mid Century - love the clean crisp no nonsense look and bright colors
Traditional - love the classic style of a wingback chair
Mountain - love a stone fireplace
Rustic - love that wood
Classic - I do love a good antique as you can tell

See... gosh so confused. 

So light or dark or somewhere in between? 

Please help me and don't let me drown here while I try to figure this out.  I really believe that going forward it isn't the HGTV or favorite flavor designers that will be setting home trends but the blogger and the average homeowner - US!  Nothing against those talented designers and TV personalities because their design talent, drive and ambition got them where they are today... I will always love Sarah Richardson and Candice Olsen's style but I still think it is US who will begin setting design trends going forward.  There are many talented bloggers out there that don't have degree's - think Joanna Gaines... love her.  So any help you can give me is much much appreciated. 

Next week I'll be decorating for St. Patrick's Day, yes this girl is a bit Irish and I decorate it up for St. Pat's.  Then I'll be thinking about spring and Easter decorating and trying to come up with an unusual for my door décor.  Spring doesn't really come to Colorado until late April maybe even late May so anytime I can bring flowers in I will.  Then I'm going to tackle at least one of the projects I'm talking about and asking for your help. 


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Monday, February 8, 2016

Be a romance Ninja!

Valentine's Day is coming this next weekend and if you are like me you find yourself with little money to spend lavishly on a gift for your significant other.  So how do you bring the romance without the funds? 

I am telling you that you can be a romance ninja using little or NO $$$... it just takes bit of time.
(Sorry not a lot of pictures just ideas!)

No money - no problem!

Ladies, don't let the man be responsible for all the romance,  you can just take a few minutes with NO MONEY and let him or her know that you care.

Idea 1 - does your other half go into an office?  If so pack a lunch for Valentine's Day and write a sweet note or just an I LOVE YOU on a post-it and tuck it inside a lunch bag.  Trust me when he/she finds the note it will bring a big smile to their face! 

Idea 2 - Put on some lipstick then kiss the mirror...yes you read right... KISS THE MIRROR!   When your better half  comes into the bathroom and finds the kiss on the mirror a smile will appear.  You can even draw a heart and or write a message in lipstick right on the bathroom mirror.  Heck you could even blot your lipstick on a piece of paper and tuck it in the lunch! 

Idea 3 - Steam up your bathroom I mean get the steam really going.  Now that the mirror is all foggy write a message or draw a heart with your initials in it then open the door or window and let the steam go away.  When your better half gets in the shower and gets the bathroom steamy again your message will miraculously appear! 

Idea 4 - Make a tissue flower and spray it with you perfume and leave it in his/her vehicle to find.  You can also take a moment to write another note or blot your lipstick on a post-it or other paper and leave it in the car. 
I once 'broke into' (okay I had keys) my husbands car when he was at work and left him rose petals and a note on Valentine's Day.  NOTE - rose petals are crazy expensive just buy a rose and break it apart. 

Idea 5 - I saw this on Pintrest - take post it notes and stick them to something in the shape of a heart.  Then write a sweet message on each one.  I've taken post-it notes and made a scavenger hunt for my husband on Valentine's Day I started in the bathroom and left a clue that led to the kitchen, where I pre-made coffee which led to another note then another until it led to his car where I left a home-made card.  He loved it. 

Have some money that you can spend on Valentine's Day?  Here are some ideas to be the romance ninja that may cost a few bucks. 

Idea 1 - Buy fresh flowers - NOT ROSES - I mean they get pretty expensive this time of the year due to the demand.  Why not try Peonies, Cabbage Roses, Carnations, Lilies or my all time favorite - Tulips!  Guys like getting flowers too.  I've surprised my husband several times with flowers at work.  I just buy them at the store go home and get an already on hand vase then arrange the flowers myself.  I take them to his office and drop them off for him at the security desk.    Don't forget a card.  He'll never know you didn't have them delivered and trust me he will LOVE the attention he'll get!!!!

Idea 2 - A card.  I listed this in the cost a bit section because cards are CRAZY expensive. But a card or even a hand-made card is very thoughtful and appreciated. 

Idea 3 - You set up the dinner date.  You make the reservation's at HIS/HER favorite place (even if it is a sports bar) YOU take the time to make the plans and 'kidnap' him/her for the day or night. Trust me on this... LOVE/ 

Idea 4 - A sexy RED nighty.  Let's face it men like women in red lingerie - don't know why but they do.  Drop flower petals on your bed, you can even spell out I LOVE YOU or make a heart... light candles - lots of candles.. So go buy that sexy nighty and let the good times roll. 

Idea 5 - A romantic dinner at home.  What is your better halves favorite food?  Cook it or order then set the table with your good china and candles.  This is one of my go-to's for romance so let me tell you how I do it. 

Setting a romantic dinner. 
We have a fireplace and on Valentine's Day I cook my husbands favorite, steak and baked potato with glazed carrots and rolls.  I do an appetizer of fruit usually pears or pineapple with melted chocolate.  I also have wine. Then there is desert, usually chocolate covered strawberries or strawberry shortcake. I set a table by our fireplace for that extra added romance. 

Here's some ideas on how to do this:

Set the scene:  Start the fire - sorry obvious ;-)
Choose the music - normally I'd select Metallica or something but you want this to be romantic and the music should be the background - so not too loud... I always play classical music, Vivaldi or Mozart.
Candles - I use a lot of candles.  I just buy different size white one from Walmart.  I like the white non-scented for this so the candles don't compete with the food smells.  I put candles everywhere - on the table, mantle, shelves, hearth and even on the floor (in a jar or something protective).  This is what you will use for your light to eat along with the fire if you have a fireplace. 
Remember to vary the heights of your candles.  I've used mirrors on the table as well as glass dollar store vase with red rocks and a rose dropped in.

Set the table:  I use a card table but you can use any kind of table you want OR you can make it a picnic and spread a blanket out in front of the fire.  I dress the table in my finest linens and cover the card table chairs with fabric as well - anything to make it not look like a regular card table and chairs!  I've even tied a ribbon around the chairs and one around the table with a big bow. 
Are you in a warm climate this time of the year?  Could you do this outside with lots of candles?  My husband proposed to me at dinner on a beach at Valentine's Day.. the table was set up on the beach surrounded by candles in a heart shape.  VERY romantic! 

I use my best china and glasses

I get fresh flowers for a centerpiece.

The food:  Make dinner - or order it and go pick it up.. now WAIT!  Think about the dinner - don't forget the appetizer, possibly cheese and crackers?  or fruit.  Don't forget the desert.  Valentine's day is a day to indulge a bit so think about your desert - chocolate cake or chocolate covered strawberries are always a hit but whatever is your or his favorite! 

Don't forget the wine!  Don't like wine??? how about a cocktail?  Gin and tonic or instead of tonic water a flavored water or sparkling soda like lemon or blood orange?  Even beer can be used here if served in the right glass.  My husband prefers beer with his steak while I like wine with mine so he gets a frosted beer glass and I get a wine glass. 

The Attire:  Even if you stay home, dress up.  Trust me... dress up.  Even if you are surprising him/her when he/she gets home from work... dress up.  You better half will appreciate it.  Put on perfume, do your make-up and fix your hair.. trust me on this. 

Finally enjoy your time with each other.  Talk, laugh and remember what brought you together in the first place. 

Now this is all well and good but how do you do this with kiddos?!  RIGHT...
I feed my kids prior then bribe them with a movie and popcorn and hope and pray they stay in their rooms for 10 minutes!  But even if they don't your better half will really appreciate the thought, time and effort you put into the night.  I can't tell you how many times I cooked up a romantic dinner to only have the kids join us (on our laps) within 10 minutes and eat half our food!  But hey this is all a part of the journey and you can laugh about it later.  Trust me you will miss that when your children are teenagers and do the eye roll when you ask them to stay in their rooms while you and Dad have a romantic dinner.....

When my kiddos were smaller I would do all of this cooking and setting the scene while my husband was giving the baths and putting the kids to bed.  So we wouldn't eat until 9 or so but hey we had time to ourselves and when the kiddo's are little that is important too!  So make time for you two!! 

Also remember Valentine's Day is just a day so PLEASE don't make this the only day you are a romance ninja.  Also you don't have to celebrate ON Valentine's day how about the Friday before or after?  The idea here is to remember to bring the romance back - BE THAT NINJA! 

I hope I've given you some ideas to try not only for Valentine's Day but for any day of the year to be the romance ninja!

If you have any questions please email me I'd be happy to help.  Not that I'm an expert but I've been happily married for 26 years now and I am a romance ninja! 

Have a great week! 
I'll be back next week with more.  Until then, stay safe!

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Monday, February 1, 2016

Valentine's Day decor

Before I start today's blog I have some questions - why do we now name winter storms?  Do we think the winter storms feel left out or bad because we normally only name hurricanes?
I don't know that winter storms really feel left out.  I mean they pack their own punch. 
So far we've got 9 inches of snow and it is still snowing.  But... yes this is Colorado and we are use to it, snow that is. 
Here is the view from my front door, icicles hanging down and the UPS man up the street.  The old saying, 'through sleet, snow, rain....' came to mind even when I was taking pictures and he tapped my shoulder and handed me a package! 

I think this week I'm going to be all over the place... so hang with me!
Valentine's Day is next week and I have been crafting like crazy.  Last week I shared 2 heart button crafts that were easy to do.  Link here

I also did a craft I saw on Pintrest - you can find it in my Valentines Day board here
Here is a picture of it.
It was a Pintrest SUCCESS! 
I bought thin wood letters from Hobby Lobby along with a bag of wood shapes and just laid out the word 'Love' in different sizes on the canvas in a heart-shaped pattern.  Then I glued the letters down and painted the entire thing white. 

I also did a really cute and easy craft that I hung outside.
It is a wooden heart that I got on sale at Hobby Lobby for $2.00 and in the same bags of wooden letters I pulled out the X and O and another 'Love'.  I painted the heart black as I thought it would give a good contrast.  I then painted the X and O white and the word 'Love' red.  Then I glued them using hot glue onto the heart. 
I only burned my fingers twice! 

Finally I worked on my front door.  I didn't want the normal wreath and didn't have a lot of money to spend on the door (I had $5.00 and some change in my pocket).  So off to the Target dollar spot I went which is really brave of me because I never EVER leave the dollar spot or dollar store under $10.00!  But I pulled up my big girl pants and went for it!  Truth be told I had been to the Target dollar spot earlier in the week and already spent my normal ten! 

I found these dollar heart shaped things and got a great idea for the front door. 
Easy, peasy let me tell you!  I think it turned out super cute! 

I bought 5 of these and linked them together with white ribbon.  One set I made long and one was short.  I also bought a black one and hung it from the hook on the door hanger then added a simple bow.
I just adjusted where the hearts hung so they hung in a line. 
It is unexpected and I think super cute and only $5.25!!!!

You can see I added last years twig heart to the screen window I bought last fall. 

Back inside I'll also share my mantle.

The heart garland I made last year along with the blue heart box and the large X and O.  This year I added the window I bought last fall and the 2 heart crafts and 2 dollar spot wooden hearts that I painted. 
The other new edition this year is the smaller garland.  I got all the items at the dollar spot.
They are actually all gift tags from the dollar spot and a set of clothespins decorated for Valentines Day. 

Here is a close up of the other button craft I did last week. 

Well that is it.  Dark now here in Colorado and still snowing.  We have 9 inches so far and expecting up to or over a foot before winter storm Kayla is out of here.  But the sun will come out by Wednesday and it is supposed to be 45 by Saturday! 

Next week I'll be back to show you a romantic dinner set up for Valentine's Day. 

Thanks for stopping by.  I appreciate you visiting.  What do you think of my unexpected door décor?  Do you decorate your door or home for Valentine's Day?  I'd love to see your pictures and hear your ideas. 


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