Bunnies and Brackets and Bread, Oh My!

Random, I know.  With such a random title, please expect a random post to follow…. but also project updates and a Pinterest non-fail thrown in for good measure.  Happy Easter, y-all!  I hope your Easter was filled with great family time, food and celebrating our risen Savior!  We celebrated with my side of the family in Michigan with food, games, food, basketball, tv sports watchin’, food, church, food, shopping, food and guns, and oh yeah, some more food…

melted plastic plant on BBQ

As you can see from the above, my good old dad was trying his hardest to get some greens in our meals, even if it had to be of the melted plastic variety stuck to the BBQ…  😉  Dad also bravely allowed a couple of my sons to accompany him on his first morning of turkey hunting season–and they bagged one!  This was no small feat as one of his companions is notoriously chatty.  😉  Way to go, Grandpa!  And no, we did not eat the turkey for Easter dinner…

folded bunny ears napkin

So my mom was super impressed with the bunny ear folded napkins my sister and I managed to whip up for Easter dinner while she was finishing up her integral role in the church choir that none of us ever tease her about…  😉  I must thank Kris from Driven by Decor for the bunny napkin idea (click here for tutorial).  Although, we used fabric napkins instead of paper so had to improvise a bit and use paperclips to hold the bunnies together.  Anywho, obviously Easter dinner was saved by these amazing table decor masterpieces cause if you know my mom at all, you are aware of her mild obsession with table settings and dishes…  You are welcome, Mother.

And in other news here was our deck not too many days ago.  Yes, snow.  Boo.
deck

And then here were a couple of my boys (hubs and the youngest) on the same deck not too many days ago, contemplating life, no snow in sight.  Love.  This covered deck now has furniture set up and we are enjoying the added living space off of our great room and also the spring weather when it decides to cooperate.  I’ll do a spring deck post for you soon to show you how we have that set up.

nail polish favors

Hey I made something off of Pinterest!  And it turned out totally cute!

nail polish treats

I made these nail polish candy/marshmallow treats for a recent fundraiser my son’s school held and they turned out sooooooo cute!  Click here for the recipe/tutorial.

artisan bread

So I make homemade bread quite often, and then I regret it.  Not because it doesn’t turn out (it is freakin awesome, people!)…. but because I want to eat the entire thing still warm from the oven and slathered in butter (even with the weird wart things this loaf had on it).  Years ago I bought this book:

artisan bread in five minutes a day

It makes the occurrence of homemade bread quite attainable for a busy, working mom like me.  And my boys love it when I make fresh homemade bread.  And it is very yummy and full of carbs and hard to resist for me.  But I make it for the family because I am self-sacrificing like that.  And no one notices when I sneak a slice or five.  😉  Click here to find the book on Amazon.

nhl playoff brackets

So we have a little contest going on at our house.  If you live in Canada, you already know that hockey = life’s sole purpose.  The hubs came up with the fun idea for each of us to fill in an NHL playoff bracket and the winner will get their choice of a large container of whatever they want from Costco (ok, within reason, people… we’re not talking a case of motorcycles or anything–just a bucket of sour keys or a large carton of Goldfish crackers–whatever the winner’s poison may be).  Then the losers pay for the said Costco treat.  I’ll keep you posted on how this all goes down but don’t expect my bracket to rack up any large number of points… because when it comes to hockey, I am not caring ;-).  This is why we designed our home with a great room so I can be puttering in the kitchen, still hanging out with the fam, but not forced to actually focus my eyeballs on the copious amounts of hockey our tv displays at all times.  Hey, I just participated in this crazy contest on the off chance I would win a case of Snickers ;-).

mudroom carpenter

This is a picture of PROGRESS in our mudroom – yay!  Hubs is a busy bee looking at my Pinterest mudroom pictures and trying to decipher the “style” I am going for…  Sort of cottage, craftsman, with some shiplap thrown in of course…  Click here for the post with my ideas for this area.  He is doing an amazing job!  Here is where we were at on Friday:

mudroom progress

I’m actually getting very excited to have a designated, somewhat organized spot for our jackets and shoes.  This has been a bit of a struggle for me as our last home had amazing “lockers” for each person to put all of their junk things in.  The lockers would definitely get cluttered and become great hiding spots for discarded school lunch sandwiches and the like, but at least it was somewhat contained.  The past four months have seen this little corner full on bombarded with coats, boots, shoes, hats, mitts, hockey sticks, skates, lacrosse sticks, etc.  We are definitely ready for some hooks, and cubbies and containment at this juncture.  I think this will work just fine.  And if there happen to be any stray lunch cast offs, the boys’ rooms are just across the hall from this little spot.  A quick toss and all is where it is supposed to be ;-).  Another great house design tip from Building House|Making Home – “if you have messy teenage and pre-teen boys, put their bedrooms close to the garage, laundry room and mudroom to facilitate stinky and or stray clothing item triage sessions”.  I know I am a genius already but you may type any glowing comments below if you so desire ;-).

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you come again real soon!  ♥ Tina

Five No-Fail Appetizers

Five No Fail Appetizers

Hey friends!  We’re taking a break from the regularly scheduled home decor programming and venturing into vittles territory today.  Partly because this is my life right now…  I volunteer at my son’s school on the catering team and we have so many events that we have recently catered or are in the works that my brain is on all things food and appetizers.  Not such great timing as I am also trying to eat healthier and lose some winter weight right now…. actually when am I not trying to eat healthier and lose some weight?!? #thestruggleisreal   And partly because we are working on finishing up an exciting home DIY project but I don’t have any “reveal” photos just yet…  Stay tuned!

So today I wanted to share with you five of our most popular, no-fail appetizers that always get rave reviews and are so super simple to make it is almost embarrassing.  Drumroll please…..

     And here they are, the five most fabulous, no-fail, you-will-be-the-hostess-with-the-mostess, super simple appetizers:

#1.  Shrimp Taco Bites

Shrimp Taco Bites

Aren’t they adorable?!  Click here for full recipe and tutorial.

*** Just a note that our catering team used frozen mini shrimp instead so that they were already cooked and tails removed – we put two mini shrimp on each bite.

#2.  Apple Bacon Cheddar Crostini

apple bacon cheddar crostini

Oh. My. Goodness.  #baconmakeseverythingbetter  Click here for the delicious recipe.  Thanks, Betty Crocker!  Yum!

#3.  Party Picks

Party Picks

Yep.  Pretty much just as easy to assemble as they are delicious.  Click here for the recipe.

#4.  Parmesan Ranch Stuffed Mushrooms

parmesan ranch stuffed mushrooms

Warning:  You may not be able to stop at just one!  Click here for recipe from Six Sisters.  Thanks, Six Sisters!

And finally #5.  Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Cucumber Bites

smoked salmon and cream cheese cucumber bites

So so elegant and so so yum!  Thanks, Baker By Nature!  Click here for recipe.

Our team is loving how easy these five classics are to assemble and yet how elegant they look and their utter deliciousness!  We have a couple of weddings and anniversaries coming up so these will be on repeat for a while and I guess shrinking my waistline will be on hold for now…  🙁

Five No Fail Appetizers

Thanks for stopping by and come again real soon!  ♥ Tina

April Showers bring Greenhouse Flowers

Building House Making Home Greenhouse Dreaming

Happy April, everyone!  Although it has been a rainy April for us so far, I can’t help but see the silver lining as I look forward to all the planting we get to do in our blank slate yard:

Building House Making Home Front Yard
Our front yard – view from the front door taken today – yikes!

Um yeah, lots to do…  just how we like it ;-)!  #notoverwhelmingatall    So as I contemplate our landscaping and vegetable garden plans I have been thinking it would be so nice to have a greenhouse to start all my little seedlings in and that’s when I spotted this cutie on Liz Marie’s blog:

DIY Window Greenhouse

Isn’t it a beauty!?!  I love the quaint, eclectic look and of course, the white exterior and teal accents inside.

DIY Window Greenhouse

DIY Window Greenhouse

Exactly what my greenhouse dreams are made of!!!  Also, I love it because it reminds me of Joanna’s amazing greenhouse in Texas:

Fixer Upper Greenhouse Exterio

Fixer Upper Greenhouse Interior

Major swoon!  That brick cobblestone floor, the white lanterns, the trees in terracotta pots… I’ll take it all, please!  😉  Good thing my husband can build almost anything I set my mind to and also that his thumb is way greener than mine ;-)!

Maybe my fascination with greenhouses began when I was a young girl in Kansas, playing store in my parents’ greenhouse that was situated down by our vegetable garden.  My dad didn’t really use it for a “greenhouse” but more for garden supply storage.  We sure had fun playing in and around that greenhouse and every time I think about those days I can still taste the raw rhubarb we used “sell” in our store and chew on – ewww!

Even though the above two greenhouses are my inspiration, the following may be our future reality:

 

Ikea Greenhouse
IKEA Greenhouse

or…

Ana White DIY Greenhouse

Because  #practical…   It feels like we JUST moved in and there is so much to do both inside and out.  But it sure is fun to dream… and while the above two options aren’t totally terrible, I am still dreaming of an all white greenhouse with a brick floor and a vintage chandelier ;-).  You can head on over to my Veggie Garden Pinterest Board for even more garden and greenhouse inspiration by clicking the below:

BHMH Veggie Garden Pinterest Board

And leaving you with a few more inspirational greenhouse images for your April Shower Dreaming…

BHMH Greenhouse Inspiration

 

Does anyone else dream of their future garden and greenhouses during April showers or is it just me?  Do you have a greenhouse?  Did you buy it and assemble it or is it your own design?  Tell me what you did!  Tell me what you are growing!

Building House Making Home Greenhouse Dreaming

Thanks for stopping by and come again real soon!  ♥ Tina

 

 

Spring Has Sprung–Mrs. Meyer’s Spring Scents are Here!

Happy Friday, everyone!  The weekend is just around the corner and I don’t know about you but my weekends generally involve cleaning my house at different levels of thoroughness depending on my other weekend plans ;-).  Since I only have evening plans this weekend, it leaves my Saturday open for some serious dust bunny hunting.  Today I’m so excited to share my favie fave cleaning products with you and also the news that Mrs. Meyer’s Limited Edition Spring Scents have arrived!

Mrs. Meyer's Peony and Lilac Spring Scents

I received the Lilac and Peony Multi-Surface sprays with my last order from Grove Collaborative (more on that in a minute) and am LOVING cleaning my house with these lovely, fresh spring scents!  I gifted the Lilac Multi-Surface spray to a co-worker the other day after we had a short discussion on spring cleaning–she was dreading it but I was looking forward to using my new Spring Scents from Mrs. Meyer’s.  Anything that motivates me to clean house is a good thing in my book!

During our recent March Break I organized our front foyer closet and made it functional as not only coat storage, but storage for all of my cleaning supplies:

Building House Making Home Cleaning Closet

I’m excited to have all of my cleaning supplies in the center of the house now and easily accessible whenever the need (very often) or urge (less often) arises ;-).  I order all of my Mrs. Meyer’s products from Grove Collaborative (click here to check it out), a company that offers amazing, affordable and effective natural products online that ship right to your door (an amazing time-saver for busy, work-outside-the-home people like myself).

Grove Collaborative

The Grove Collaborative website allows you to order as a guest OR I recommend the VIP membership for a very low cost that allows you to receive monthly shipments (or more often if you want) of only the products you want with free shipping on everything you buy!  Love that!  I get an email reminder about a week ahead of the scheduled shipping date to remind me to check my “cart” to make sure it has only the items I want that month and I am free to add or subtract anything or cancel that month’s shipment all together.  There are free gifts for VIP members every so often and this month I am receiving a free glass spray bottle:

Grove Collaborative Glass Spray Bottle

This will be perfect to use with another of my favorite products from Grove–

Caldrea Pear Blossom Agave All Purpose Cleaner

Oh. my. goodness.  I am obsessed with the Pear Blossom Agave scent from Caldrea!  I use the All Purpose Cleaner and dilute it to put in a spray bottle or splash some in my mop water.  This scent is perfect for homes with more males than females–it is a bit less sweet and a bit more spicy smelling if that makes sense.  But it still has the under notes of pear and agave–it smells so amazing that I leave the used mop water bucket in my laundry room sink and it makes the whole laundry/mud room smell amazing for days….   Let me tell you, that is no small feat for a laundry room that services a family of six (including five males)!

So another of my favorites is the limited time offers of seasonal scents from Mrs. Meyer’s.  Last fall I loved the Mum and Apple Cider scents but I think I may love the Lilac and Peony spring limited edition scents even more!

Mrs. Meyer's Spring Scents Lilac Peony

Grove not only offers the singles of these scents in dish soap, hand soap and multi-surface spray but also these cute TRIOS and SINK SETS:

Mrs. Meyer's Peony Sink Set Grove CollaborativeMrs. Meyer's Lilac Trio Grove Collaborative

I am looking forward to my day tomorrow, ready to tackle a few Spring Cleaning tasks armed with my Mrs. Meyer’s Spring Scents!  Click here to check out Grove Collaborative for yourself–I’m sure you will find something you would love to have delivered right to your door whether it be cleaning products, toiletries, toilet paper or paper towels.

Grove Collaborative Glass Spray Bottle

Happy Spring and happy cleaning hunting if you plan to join me tomorrow on the dust bunny hunt ;-)!

♥ Tina

Wallpaper… Wait, What?

Magnolia Home Wallpaper York Wallcoverings shiplap

I have an announcement from a very special guest today:

ugly wallpaper

“Hi, remember me from the 70s and 80s?  My name is Wallpaper.  Nice to meet you or get reacquainted if you were into country geese in the 80s or flowers and spice grinders in the 70s ;-).  Guess what?  I’m the popular kid in school again!”

Wallpaper is back, folks.  I know, I know, it never really went “out”.  However, wallpaper has not been in my design wheelhouse for some time (since my 8th grade cloud and rainbow phase, actually).  As I have “matured”, I naturally gravitate towards subtle, muted paint colors and tone on tone wall treatments.  Since those are easily achieved with paint, I haven’t had the urge to use wallpaper in my home except for a very isolated incident involving a very realistic brick and mortar pattern I applied in our previous home’s basement with fabulous results and reviews.  Similar pattern here:

brick and mortar wallpaper

I am slowly warming to the trend but having difficulty fully embracing it due to 80s flashbacks that include mauve and “country” blue bouquets and geese ;-).  My reservations may also be due to the fact that my sister recently purchased a home with every surface possible covered in wallpaper (not the new, cool patterns unfortunately) and is now having to remove wallpaper from drywall one room at a time–ugh!

The key indicator to me that wallpaper is now “the thing” happened during my recent visit to Magnolia Market and Silos.  I visited the washroom in the Silos Baking Co. and low and behold:  wallpaper.

magnolia silos bathroom wallpaper toille

Yep, definitely the cool kid!  Also, I noticed during my laundry room/mudroom research that Joanna had used wallpaper in a mudroom she did for the dog-loving couple:

Fixer Upper newsprint wallpaper mudroom
Fixer Upper Mudroom – Newsprint Wallpaper

Important to note that when using busy wallpaper patterns such as the above two, Joanna broke up the pattern with monochromatic wainscoting and/or subway tile.  I loved that mudroom newsprint look so much that I googled “newsprint wallpaper”.  Guess what!?!  Magnolia Home has a wallpaper line!!!  York Wallcoverings has a special Magnolia Home collection by Joanna Gaines – click here for ordering online.  The line has blueprints, brick and mortar, concrete, grasscloth and sisal looks, French panel, buffalo check, dots and stripes, handwriting, toile, and of course a pretty magnolia print, and….

magnolia home wallpaper shiplap

There is the genius at work in front of the SHIPLAP WALLPAPER!  Um, hello?  Shiplap here, shiplap there–Shiplap is attainable for all!  If you don’t have a diy hubby like me, you can still do shiplap, people!  That. is. awesome.

Here are my favorites from the collection and some ideas on where to use them:

skinnylap wallpaper magnolia york wallcoverings
Skinnylap Wallpaper

I think this wallpaper would be great to use if you had a ceiling with imperfections that you wanted to cover and like the cottage or farmhouse look without the lumber commitment or dreaded task of painting the ceiling.

skinnylap ceiling

My shoulder ached for days after I painted my son’s planked ceiling – click here for reveal.

newsprint wallpaper magnolia york wallcoverings

This newsprint pattern would be fun in a mudroom as mentioned earlier or in a washroom:

newsprint wallpaper in washroom bathroom

stripe wallpaper magnolia home york wallcoverings

This awning stripe pattern would be perfect for an entryway:

awning stripe wallpaper magnolia home york wallcoverings

Or how lovely and super realistic looking is this brick and mortar pattern?!?

brick and mortar wallpaper magnolia home york wallcoverings

Wouldn’t that be perfect to try out on a kitchen backsplash to see if you really loved it before installing the real thing?

I LOVE this buffalo check pattern on a wall behind a headboard:

buffalo check wallpaper magnolia home york wallcoverings

There are several colors of dot patterns:

dots on dots wallpaper magnolia home york wallcoverings

This light pink would be so precious in a little girl’s room:

And finally this French Panel pattern:

french panel wallpaper magnolia home york wallcoverings

would look magnificent yet playful in a library or den:

I guess the reason I am so psyched about this Magnolia line from Joanna, is because it is tasteful and subtle–just like all of the Magnolia designs.  This wallpaper line inspires and enables home owners to easily add architectural detail in so many ways… and without hiring a carpenter or stone mason!

Magnolia Home Wallpaper York Wallcoverings shiplap

Way to go, Joanna!  You have done it once again!  Inspiring, attainable decor and design.  And no blue geese in sight–although I didn’t look very closely at the toile pattern, there might be some geese hiding in there… ;-).

How about you… do you have wallpaper in your home?  Where?  Do you have a favorite pattern in the Magnolia Home collection and where would you install it?  Let us know in the comments what you think and have a happy Tuesday!

♥ Tina

March Madness – Mudroom Edition

mudroom designDoes anyone else have a house full of males that are obsessed with NCAA basketball right now?  #marchmadnesswidow 😉  I’m not complaining, actually, because this means I am left to do basically whatever I want without being bothered the entire evening.  The other night during the basketball games I spring cleaned in the Master Bathroom:

master bathroom chalk paint mirrors beachy parisian

grove collaborative

and plotted my next project–THE MUDROOM/LAUNDRY ROOM:

black mud room door

We have a nice-sized “room” that enters our home from the garage that holds our washer and dryer, one window to our front yard and one wall suitable for a coat and shoe storage system of some sort.  I recently painted the interior of this door black – click here for that post.  So maybe you already know this, but we have a family of six (and I’m the only female #itsgoodtobethequeen).  Just doing some quick math determines that if all of us have one heavy and one light jacket and two favorite pairs of shoes stored in this space, we need to have functional storage for about one zillion coats and shoes.  1 six foot wall divided by that crazy amount of clothing items is going to be a design challenge to say the least!  But with your help, I think I am up to it!  Since the only wall available for coats and shoes is just adjacent to the window like this:

I am limited in what sort of system I choose for my sweetie to build.  Our ceilings are 9 feet so we have the option to locate the shelf up above the window frame or cut it off like the photo above so it doesn’t run into the window.  I have a Pinterest board going with a ton of inspiration for this space – click here.

 

And here are my favorite inspiration photos from the board:

mudroom shiplap hook area coats shoes

Don’t you just love how when people post their coat and shoe areas on their blogs or Pinterest, there are hardly any coats and shoes stored there–wreaths, pretty scarves, purses and baskets galore, but where are the dirty soccer cleats, muddy boots and the ugly coat your husband refuses to donate to Goodwill?  Maybe that’s just our family… 😉

Anywho, I have a design tip for you.  When you are planning a room or design project and have a Pinterest board or inspiration photos gathered, look closely at all of the images and find what they all have in common.  By looking at the common themes of your images, you are able to decipher the style, materials and colors that have you inspired.  That exercise helps me to be less overwhelmed when I am trying to choose different materials and colors for my projects as there are usually so many pretty options out there.  So for our coat and shoe storage area I do see a theme in all of the above photos:

*white paneling or shiplap

*top shelf

*black hooks

*natural wood tones

*and baskets

Since those must be the design elements that I find visually pleasing, I will be sure to include all of those things in my design plan.  Do you have a mudroom/coat and boot area in your home?  What is your most favorite or most frustrating about it?  What should I be sure to include in my plan?  I would love your comments and suggestions as we are basically starting from scratch for this area.  Hopefully I will have my complete plan in place, ready to hand over to hubby once March Madness is finished ;-).

mudroom design

Thanks for stopping by and come again real soon! ♥ Tina