Friday, June 29, 2012

I'm Guest Posting in New Zeeland!

Just a quick note to let you know I'm guest posting today in New Zeeland. :)
You can find me at Northshore Days sharing our newest garden project.


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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Bloglovin' Blog Hop


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I am super excited to be hosting a Bloglovin' Blog Hop with Cari and Courtnee from Two Sasters, Amy from While Wearing Heels, Melissa from The Life of a Not So Ordinary Wife, Pamela from Pamela's Heavenly Treats, Sarah from Becoming Martha, Elle from The Princess Diaries and Carolyn from My Simple Messterpiece for the month of June. 

What's Bloglovin' you ask?  Well, only the greatest way to keep track of the blogs that you love.  With the discontinuation of Google Friends Connect, I decided that I needed to find another way to keep up with all of my favorite blogs that are not hosted by blogger.  I signed up for Linky Followers and I've had great success with gaining new followers, but I’m finding I don’t get any traffic to my site from Linky.  I also do not enjoy reading my favorite blogs from there.  I stumbled upon Bloglovin' and I am in love!  It is very similar to Google Reader, in that you can see the beginning of the post and the first picture attached to the post.  Plus, Bloglovin' automatically updates your posts, unlike Linky Followers, which you have to manually update each time you write a new post.  I don't know about you, but I just don't have the time to do that every time.  Another added bonus is there is a Bloglovin' application for IPhone and Android devices.  Woohoo!  Like I don't spend enough time reading blogs.  Now it's a simple touch.  Love it!

***These are the complete instructions for sign up, so skip to the rules if you already have Bloglovin'***
In order to participate in this hop you need to sign up for Bloglovin’.  Go to Bloglovin'.   Hit the green sign up button in the right hand corner.  Next enter an email address and create your password.  You will get a confirmation eamil that you will need to follow a link back to Bloglovin' to continue the process.  Once you click on the link you will be brought to a page where it says to choose blogs to follow.  You don't need to do this.  Click next in the bottom right hand corner.  The next screen let’s you know about the mobile app so just click next again.  This screen will show that you are not following any blogs.  Click on Account in the upper right hand corner and toggle down to widget.  Choose the widget you want displayed on your page.  Put your url into the search query and it should pull up your site.  Click on your site and it will say display this icon.  The next page should bring you to a screen that has you display it into your layout.   Once you hit publish you’re done!  If you view your blog you should see the icon and now your followers can add you to their Bloglovin’ feed.  Seriously, so simple.  So let’s get to the blog hop.  This is a party so make sure to have some fun and mingle.

 There’s only a couple of rules:
2.      Add Bloglovin' to your blog.

3.      Post our button for the blog hop on your page to promote the fun.




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If you're interested in co-hosting next month shoot me an email at russej10@gmail.com.  I also have some sponsor spots still available for July, which you can find here.  Alright, so let's have some fun and mingle!


















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DIY Candy Cake Tutorial

My son Andrew is 21 today!
Happy Birthday Drew!!! We love you!!!

I really was trying to rack my brain to think of a fun cake idea, that isn't cake.  Our family is kinda weird we just aren't cake people.  I can make or buy a cake and throw half of it away.  When I asked Drew what kind of cake he would like, he said, "he didn't care if he had one at all".  Well, turning "21" deserves a special celebration so I went on a search to find a cakeless cake.  I ran across this pin on Pinterest.  Only problem is, it's the night before his birthday and that was a cake you ordered for 39.95.  My wheels got churning on how I could make a cake like the above pin in one night and for a whole lot cheaper.

Here is my candy cake:

And here is how I did it.  But first let me apologize for the poor pictures.  My kitchen lighting at dark isn't real good.  Sorry!


 Gather your supplies.

Supplies needed:
shoe box 
2 extra pieces of cardboard
cake plate 
4 packs of large movie theater candy
various pack of mini candy bars
pixie sticks
mini sour straws
Bazooka gum
Now-n-laters
glue gun
pencil
curling ribbon
candles

Once you've gathered all your supplies.  You need to get your shoe box and one of the large movie theater boxes of candy.  Draw a line on your box the length of the candy.
Cut the shoe box all the way around the length of the candy box.

Cut one of the extra pieces of cardboard to fit on the open end of the shoe box like shown.

Add your large boxes of candy around all four sides. Next add the other extra piece of cardboard to the other part of the shoe box like we did above.  Glue the box on top of the other box as shown.

Add a layer of mini candy bars all the way around.

Add a second layer of mini candy bars.  This layer will probably overlap the box forming a small wall.


Fill in the open spaces on the box that's showing with Now-n-laters, Pixie Sticks and Bazooka gum,  Or candy of your choice.  Next you will add candy to the top of the box, using whatever candy fits there.  Then add your curly ribbon and candles.  

And there you have it you have your very own candy cake for under $15.00.
Do you have any nontraditional ways you celebrate birthdays?

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Teen Boy Bedroom Ideas....



We have been wanting to redo our 13 year old boys bedrooms. It hasn't been redone since we moved in 8 years ago, so it's really time.    I have been on the hunt for ideas that will grow with them and ideas that they both can agree on..  These boys are night and day different from each other. One wants camo and the other wants everything sports.  Hmmm.... to Pinterest I must go.

I am in love with this bedroom.


I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the stripes and I had already bought some grey and gold paint and planned to do stripes. So, I feel like I'm visualizing our room.  I also really like the curtains.  

Both my boys really like this basketball hoop.  They think they need one.  I think it would be really fun for them but not sure how well they would go to sleep.  I can just hear them up there at 11:00 PM playing a game of one-on-one or horse.  Not sure....but it is cool...


I also love the jerseys hanging.  We have several jerseys set aside to use in there.

I LOVE the looks of this desk and I have tons of old bookshelves to use, but as much as I love the looks will the desk really be used or just collect junk?  And do I want them to be upstairs doing homework where I can't see them.  Decisions, decisions...

I love this idea I found while working at a clients house.  


She hung pennants and medals on cafe clips and used as curtains. 

\
 will for sure be doing that with all the various Michigan sports teams as well as their medals.

I love this chalkboard door with basketball hoop.  I highly doubt I would be allowed to paint our doors since my husband just replaced put in solid oak doors.  I don't think so, but I could paint a space on the wall with chalk board paint. Maybe close to the basketball hoop.


I love this idea as well.  It doesn't look too hard to make it and I know one of the boys would love it.

I think these are super cool and we have a lot of jerseys saved.  This one will probably be a must.


I'm having a hard time finding camo that would with a sports theme. I did find this bedspread from Pottery Barn. But that's about it.

Well... I'll be keeping my eyes open for fun ideas for their room. I hope to get working on it this summer.  If you see anything camo for older boys will you pass it on to me?  Do you have anything fun for a teen boys bedroom?


Update:


I somehow missed this cool room when I put together this post and it really needs to be seen.  It's from Kim at Today's Creative Blog. There are several things I love in this room.  I love the bulletin board, I love the stripe at the ceiling, I love the hexagon shelves over the bed.  I love the number on the back of the chair.  I could go on and on.  Thanks Kim for great ideas!

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Monday, June 25, 2012

Guest Post on "Life Plans" + Free Goal Printable

Chris Camp, my son who lives in Atlanta GA is guest posting for me today. He is the owner of "The Painting Company" and I've watched his business grow from nothing to a very profitable business. He will be discuss the importance of creating a life plan.

Life Plan
What is a plan? Why do we have plans? What do they help us do? These questions all have simple answers that any of you would be able to respond to without much thought. A plan is defined “as a method for achieving an end”. A plan gives us steps to achieve something that is larger than us. We use plans for many things in life recipes, budgets, vacations, kids, ect. One area that we don’t spend enough time in my opinion is planning our life. What I mean by that is stopping and thinking about what we want those around us to say about us after we have lived our life. The simple question of what do you want your spouse or friends to say about you when you die? If you have ever attended a funeral of someone and it feels like a celebration of their life, that’s someone who impacted people on a deep level. That’s the kinda life I want to live. If we aren’t intentional about what our plan for life is, we’ll wake up someday and realize that we never become the person we wanted to be.

So, how do you create a life plan? The first thing in any endeavor is to create a vision for what you want. In this case create a vision for what you want your life to look like. I would recommend doing this for your Faith, Family, Work, Friends, Finances, & Spouse. I think it’s important to separate your spouse from family to be intentional about what you want out of that relationship. Once you have created a vision for you each portion of life right down were you are today in each of those areas. This gives a starting point of where we are and an ending point of where we want to be. Now that we have a frame work for what we want out of life we put steps in place to make these things happen. I’ll give you an example of one or two from my own life plan. My wife & want to be debt free except for our house including my small business that I own (this is our vision). Currently we have some personal credit card debt and student loans on top of our house (this is our reality). We have created a budget that will allow us to pay off all our debt except our house by next year (steps to our vision). Another example from my life plan is my relationship with my wife. I want to have a Godly marriage were I love her unconditionally like Jesus loves me. (this is my vision) We have a good marriage but we are super busy. She is a teacher and varsity basketball coach. I’m a small business owner with 30 team members, who also coaches a travel baseball team, and we lead a small group at our church. On top of all this we have a very active 2 and a half year old little boy. (this is our reality) Our steps to achieving our vision include weekly date nights between the two of us, marriage events put on by our church, yearly vacations just the two of us, and our weekly couples small group. We are intentional about doing these steps to ensure we are moving closer to our vision.

This isn’t a very complex process. It requires us to stop and think about our life, and what we want out of our life. Once we do this it gives a road map for our lives. It allows us to know where we are and where we want to go. Michael Hyatt who writes a blog daily @ michaelhyatt.com, has a free book for anyone who signs up for his daHily email blog called “Creating Your Personal Life Plan” I would highly recommend reading the book and following the steps he lays out.


To remind us of the importance of goal setting I've created a free printable.





You can download an 8x10 copy here:

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Upcycled Window Pane Flag



I have had this old window frame with this flag panel in it for years.  I LOVE it, but as you can see it is really faded.  So I thought it was time for some updating.

We had some wainscoting that was left over from our banquette seating project and thought that would work great if I ran it horizontally.  I had my handy hubby cut me a piece that would fit the window frame..
Here are the supplies you will need:
window frame
wainscoting
white spray paint
blue paint 
brown paint 
red paint- I used Martha Stewarts red glitter paint
paint brush 
thicker white vinyl
Silhouette machine if you have it.


First step:  spray paint your wainscoting white.  When the paint is dry nail it to the frame.
I then painted the upper left hand pane navy blue and then painted each strip with red paint.  I left the white stripe alone.
For my stars I used my silhouette machine to cut them out.  I used the heavier vinyl instead of the thinner stuff.  The thinner didn't want to adhere to the wainscoting.  The thicker vinyl adhered very well.  I cut 12 and used 10.  If you don't have a Silhouette or Cricut you could just cut them out by hand. 

After I put the stars on the flag, I lightly dry brushed some brown paint to antique them.

The finished Project.

I put it on my mantel with my USA frames that I made last year for 4th of July.
 Here is a picture of the whole mantel.

Happy Creating!

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