Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Home Interiors: Creating a Luxurious Home on a Budget

Guest Post from Design Shuffle.  Great tips from an interior decorator!! I need to follow these tips big time!

While a luxurious lifestyle is very appealing, especially when it comes to our homes, it is not practical for everyone. What if you want the look and feel of a high end interior but your budget won’t allow for it? There are ways to decorate or redecorate your home with beautiful results and all within budget. Achieving this and creating a home you love takes a bit of ingenuity, some tricks of the interior design trade and a few interior design ideas.

Less is More
No matter what style you choose to decorate in, minimalism can be applied to your interior design efforts. You can have all the luxury you desire and not make it look over occupied with furniture or fittings that are unnecessary. By keeping your furnishings streamlined, you can afford to spend more on quality pieces you love. Instead of spreading your money out over many pieces of inferior quality, you’ll invest in ones which will be in your home for years to come.

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Consignment
Many times high end resale shops carry terrific bargains on quality furniture that has no signs of wear. From upholstered chairs and sofas to case goods such as end tables, armoires and sideboards, you’ll usually find a variety of styles, colors and textures. If you don’t find what you like the first visit, let the owner know what you are looking for and leave your number, also check back often for new items.

In the Details
When it comes to adding luxurious touches to your décor, small details can make a big impact. For instance, if you already have your furniture, choosing an expensive fabric for throws and pillows with embroidery or beading will cost way less than if you had bought an expensive sofa. However, if you haven’t chosen your sofa consider buying one in a lovely texture that you can add a leading fabric pattern to from a high end designer. Another way to add luxury is through a hand knotted rug. While this detail can be an investment, it adds a quality and expensive feel to your room and will last a lifetime.

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Think Function
Consider each room’s function before shopping. What furnishings will you use the most? For example, if you spend a lot of time in the living room, then you’ll want to spend more of your budget in this room to make sure the seating is as plush and durable as possible. Choose a high end sofa and chairs with a hardwood frame for longevity with down cushions for the most luxurious seating. These
living room design ideas can be applied to any room of the home from the kitchen to the bedroom—spend the most on items you use the most.

Creating a luxurious space can be practical for anyone willing to do a little compromising and expend a little effort to make it happen. Soon you’ll be enjoying the beautifully appointed home of your dreams.

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Thank you Design Shuffle great tips!!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Infant Car Seat Carrier Cover

Having a baby in the winter means lots of germs EVERYWHERE! Ideally I would like to hibernate until the spring but with 2 older kids that is not possible. When I normally go out I would cover my car seat carrier with a blanket but it would normally fall off or only do half the job. I decided I was crafty enough to make something so I made a fashionable infant car seat carrier cover and it gives me some piece of mind that I am not exposing her to all the elements in society.


To make this I found some great instructions over at Calico.


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The contrasting underside.


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BEFORE: Not so cute…


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Here is the cover all laid out. The wonderful thing about this design is the corners are curved and do not touch the floor.


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Now this might not stop the germs but it makes me feel better. Plus, it stops people from sticking their face in hers to admire the new baby (isn’t that annoying?) I feel like saying “Hello, you are invading her bubble!”


AFTER:


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My baby girl all tucked in her car seat and stops people from invading her space! My doctor said “What a great idea, a sleep tent for babies Smile Whatever you want to call it, it does the job and I think every new baby needs one!! This would make great gifts too!!


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I am sharing this at…


The Girl Creative monogram Katie's Nesting Spot

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Feeding Four $25 Target Giveaway

My friend, MOMentum (as she is called on Blogland), over at Feeding Four is having a $25.00 Target Gift card giveaway to celebrate blogging for one year.  She is posts delicious healthy meals and dessert recipes that she makes for her Family of Four.  I can vouch for her and recipes!  She blessed our family with her wonderful Easy Bread Pan Lasagna when we brought home Cailyn.

I have also made some of her recipes like All-week-long Black Bean Salad. EXCELLENT! Tonight I am making her Tortellini in Lemon Cream Sauce with Spring Vegetables.  She inspires me to eat better!!

She also did a Guest Post on my blog about Rediscover Your Creative Passion.  I participated in a Bible Study that she led and we read the book Creative Call.   MOMentum is funny, smart, and an excellent cook.  I know you will enjoy following her.

Go check out her Giveaway and leave her a comment saying Maridith sent ya!! Giveaway ends April 1st.

DIY: Sparkly Shoe Clips

In a previous post I shared with you how my daughter needed a new outfit for a Father/Daughter Dance.  I made her a new skirt out of a dress that use to be he great-grandmothers.  To complete the outfit and make her feel extra special I took some of her old loved shoes and add some bling! 

I transformed her ordinary shoes to fancy shoes with homemade shoe clips.  I am going to show you how to make your own.

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What you need:

Felt, Paper Clips, Rhinestones, Hot Glue, Scissors

BEFORE:

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1. Lay out your rhinestones on your felt (I got these rhinestones from the chandelier vinyl in Cailyn’s room that I thought would be a safety issue once she started standing.)

2. Once you have a design.  Hot Glue the rhinestones on and trim closely around the design. For a little more stability I glued a second layer of felt on the back.

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3. Place the long part of the paper clip on the back center of the felt.

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4. To make sure the paper clip did not bother my daughter’s feet or put a hole in her stockings I glued a small piece of felt on the small portion of the paper clip. 

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AFTER:

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Fancy Sparkly Dancing Shoes for my little girl!!

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**My daughter and her daddy had a fabulous time at the dance.  I wish I could been there just to see them dance!!

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Guest Blogger: Fill Your House with Contemporary Wall Art Without Spending A Fortune

Today's Guest Blogger is from Arcadian Homes Decor. They have lots of beautiful items from lamps to artwork. This is just a touch of what they have to offer and with all budgets in mind.

Everyone from child to adult knows the glaring achievements of the masters. As testament to this, age old chef d'oeuvres like the ‘Starry Night’ of the famous Vincent Van Gogh still stand revered and highly valued.

But while classic is elegant and beautiful, modernization is highly desired to be an addition of home art. With contemporary wall art, a home can become a charming masterpiece without shouldering the millions of dollars worth of art work.

Contemporary Wall Art

'Kristin Drohan Interior Design' (via) (I HEART THIS ROOM)

Breathing life into the home is made possible by decorating with contemporary wall art. So instead of having boring walls, welcome your guests by exquisite artwork. With good combination, the look can be quite stunning.

Try not to hang one piece here and there but do give it some thought. If you have no experience in interior designing or do not know how to put your decor together, perhaps consulting or hiring a professional interior designer would help solve the problem.

2 Contemporary Wall Art

'Pepe Calderin Design' (via)

With the amount of different types of artwork out there, what is the difference between the classic / traditional and contemporary wall art? Is there a significant difference in characteristics between the two that needs some attention? Well, there are really little changes in the methods used. But in terms of subject and execution, there is a big difference.

Starting with the classic, the mood is usually intense, serious, and dramatic. And when it comes to the choice of subject - people, religion, and renowned historical events are among the most popular choices. Although there are some that deviate from these norms, they are few and uncommon.

3 Contemporary Wall Art

'Jerry Jacobs Design, Inc.' (via)

With contemporary wall art, the mood is much more relaxed. It shows in the color, the tones, and the vibrancy. Even though there are some that mimic the atmosphere of classical styles, some are whimsical in execution.

In terms of subject, contemporary wall décor is also much more relaxed while the classical works of art are almost always confined to the elegance of serious things in life. Contemporary wall art can feature modern buildings like the Golden Gate Bridge and common household items like a wine bottle and a wine glass.

4 Contemporary Wall Art

'Duroque Interior Design' (via)

Keep in mind that these do not have to be authentic paintings made of canvas and real paint. Cheaper alternatives that look just as stunning such as contemporary art prints can be used instead. They are more affordable and can be perfect for your budget when it comes to ordering one for larger walls.

As for the children’s sleeping quarters and playing room, there are many pieces of contemporary wall art available with child-themed designs. These can come in child-friendly colors like vibrant mint green and bright yellow. It can also feature subjects that kids will love like cars, sports and other novelty items.

5 Contemporary Wall Art

'Lily Z Design Inc.' (via)

The next time you decide to redo your home’s interior design, do consider merging your home’s style with works of art. And if you do, try contemporary wall art for a more affordable alternative.

Content provided by Arcadian Home Decor, a site that specializes in top quality home decor items at extremely affordable prices. Come visit us today!

Arcadian Home Decor is the best source for home decor accessories at discount prices. Founded in 2002, Arcadian Home originally started selling decorative home lighting fixtures and lamps online, and has become one of the top Internet retailers for home lighting products

Monday, March 21, 2011

Recycled Clothes have a Story

While I was on “maternity leave” my oldest daughter had a Father Daughter Dance to attend. Of course, to any girl a dance means a new outfit. Unfortunately, I was in no position to take my daughter shopping because I had a 3 week old and I was fighting a sinus infection. That really left two options…Make something or have her wear something out of her closet. To me the last one was not an option! Hello, would you wear the same prom dress twice?? I think not!

I looked through my box of material and I found material left over from my Vintage Dress Reinvented for Reunion Weekend Skirt. I knew it would be PERFECT!!

I had all the material on hand and in less then an hour I made my daughter this beautiful skirt for zero dollars! For Lawson the best part was it twirled!

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Where is the story?

This material came from a dress was my grandmothers. It is approximately 50 years old! She kept it all these years knowing one day the bottom could be used for another purpose. She is a smart woman.

I made myself a skirt out of this material that I wore to my college reunion and now my daughter has a skirt. I would have had us pose together, but as of today I can not quite fit into all of my pre-maternity clothes. 2 skirts from 1 vintage dress. 3 generations! Now. that is a great story!

I am not sure about you, but I love clothes with a story not just an expensive price tag!

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Thanks for stopping by! Later this week I will share with you how I accessorized her dance outfit for zero dollars!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Guest Blogger: My Sister with an Irish Meal

This is my awesome sister and her daughter McKenna.  Today she is sharing with us an Irish Meal!! 

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Irish Soda Bread

 

My favorite recipe website right now is allrecipes.com. If you haven't used this site, I would highly recommend checking it out. I was stalking the site this weekend and came across this bread. It looked delicious and best of all it was easy!
Irish Soda Bread
What you need:
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup margarine, softened
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1/4 cup butter, melted *use half
1/4 cup buttermilk *use half
How to put it all together:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease a large baking sheet.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and margarine. Stir in 1 cup of buttermilk and egg. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead slightly. Form dough into a round and place on prepared baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine melted butter with 1/4 cup buttermilk; brush loaf with this mixture. Use a sharp knife to cut an 'X' into the top of the loaf.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, about 30 to 50 minutes. You may continue to brush the loaf with the butter mixture while it bakes.

Verdict: Delicious!

Well, after I found the bread recipe I decided I'd make a St. Patrick's Day meal to go with it. Now, my Mom doesn't eat red meat and my searches for a stew all came up with lamb as the main ingredient. However, after some digging I found a chicken stew.

Irish Chicken Stew & Dumplings
(I know, where are my dumplings? Well, since I made the bread I omitted the dumplings)
What you need:
2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of chicken soup
3 cups water
1 cup chopped celery
2 onions, quartered
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning *double
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper *double
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves *I used 1lb of chicken thighs because I think they have more flavor than breasts*
5 carrots, sliced
1 (10 ounce) package frozen green peas
4 potatoes, quartered
3 cups baking mix *omitted
1 1/3 cups milk *omitted
How to put it all together:

  1. In large, heavy pot, combine soup, water, chicken, celery, onion, salt, poultry seasoning, and pepper. Cover and cook over low heat about 1 1/2 hours.
  2. Add potatoes and carrots; cover and cook another 30 minutes.
  3. Remove chicken from pot, shred it, and return to pot. Add peas and cook only 5 minutes longer.
  4. Add dumplings. To make dumplings: Mix baking mix and milk until a soft dough forms. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto BOILING stew. Simmer covered for 10 minutes, then uncover and simmer an additional 10 minutes.

Verdict:
WOW! This was great! It was not heavy and it had great flavor and color. The best part of this was that I had everything in my pantry. I didn't have to go to the store for anything. Well, I had to omit the celery because when I grabbed it from the crisper draw it was everything but crisp. I ended up using more carrot instead.

This meal was so easy to put together. I was able to make the bread. Start simmering the chicken all while McKenna was down for her afternoon nap. This meant the rest of the afternoon was for us to play. That's the BEST part!

Thanks Sista!!

Happy St. Patrick's Day

 

Kiss me I  am Irish!!

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Love,

Lawson, Cailyn and Wesley!

Monday, March 14, 2011

I am back…and Thank You!

Did you miss me? or did you notice I was gone??? Well, I was and I have been out taking care of this sweet little girl!

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My baby is now 6 weeks old today.  How can six weeks fly by so quickly? We are all doing great.  Cailyn is a complete joy and changing everyday.  We are so in love with her and I thank God he made her mommy!  Here is my baby girl at 6 weeks. DSC_1330

While I was out one thing I didn’t worry about was my little blog.  I was fortunate enough to have some awesome women guest posting on my blog.  If you didn’t read their posts you need too!!  I would like to thank all my guest bloggers who took the time to write on my blog while I was out.  Thank you so much!! You are all wonderful!

While I was suppose to be resting I couldn’t help myself but sew and craft some.  It seems to be something I NEEDED to do to feel NORMAL.  My friend, Tasha from Creation Corner posted on my blog how to make these cute Valentine’s Headbands.  I HAD to make them for my girls.  Mine are not headbands but bows but the look is the same!

Here is my angel in homemade cuteness!

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Then for triple cuteness I made some for my niece and my older daughter.  For full-disclosure, my older daughter only wore this for the photo shoot.  She hates bows Sad smile.

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Thanks Tasha for the inspiration.

I have been busy on a bunch of other projects too that I can’t wait to share with you.  I can’t promise regularity in my posts because my first priority is my children but I will be around!!

Blessings!

Maridith

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