Monday, January 31, 2011

Welcome Guests!

We are very excited that our forever house has a designated "guest room".  No longer do we need to kick our son out of his room when family or friends come to visit.  This weekend my Mom is coming to visit us for a month!  We are very excited to have this time with Mom and Grandma and wanted her room to be extra comfortable and welcoming.

My husband and I have seen many articles regarding how to make a guest room extra special for visitors and have taken inspiration from them.  If you are interested, there are some great tips here, here, here and here.  Here is what we have created.

The Palette
We went with a soft, beachy palette in our guest room.  The walls are painted with a soft greenish beige that just so happens to be a $5 gallon of "oops" paint from Lowe's.  (When we moved in we painted EVERY wall in our new home and we found some awesome paint bargains in the "oops" bin at both Lowe's and Home Depot.  We used these paints in the guest room, laundry room, downstairs powder room and our garages.  If you are willing to take a little risk you will be amazed at what you can save.)  We are going with pale green, blue, beige and white in this room and it looks fantastic.  Very relaxing and calm - I am certain our guests will enjoy their time in this room.  The artwork in the room is simple with the paint chip wall art that I shared with you last week and a coffee filter wreath that was really simple and inexpensive to make with a wreath from the Dollar Tree and a package of inexpensive white coffee filters.

The Linens
We have included my old queen size bed with the headboard that my dear father made for me when I moved to Chicago many years ago.  I purchased some soft, crisp white sheets and used a pale blue comforter on the bed giving it an airy quality.  I love how the soft blue works with the pale green walls.  I have also included a special afghan that my Mom made for me many years ago in case our guests are a bit chilly.  Fluffy white towels again give a feeling of a luxurious hotel.  Much of what we read encouraged the use of white linens as they give everyone a feeling of freshness.  You can't hide anything with white linens.

The Essentials
We have included a basket with some essentials for our guests.  When you stay at a hotel, they always provide you with soap, shampoo and lotion.  We took this a step further and included everything a guest may need during their stay.  I placed a bottle of water and a glass on a small tray by the bed.  I also included a fuzzy robe on the back of the door.  The door also has a hook so that our guests can hang their towels after they are used.

A Retreat
It was important to us that our guest room felt like a retreat to our visitors.  We included a comfortable rocking chair (that we used to rock our kids when they were babies).  We also placed a small television in the room, a great book and a few magazines on the nightstand.  When our guests are looking for a little quiet time (with 2 young children in our house, quiet is not a term that get used often) they can find comfort and peace in their guest quarters.  I have an idea to create a writing desk next to the bed so that our guests can set up their computer to check emails or do a little work if necessary.  I saw a great idea how to create a simple desk like this sawhorse desk using two old stools (here) and will do this when I find the right stools at the right price of course.

The Space
We are blessed to have nice size bedrooms and therefore have given our guests a beautiful room to spread out and enjoy.  I have added a full size mirror behind the door and cleared the closet so that our guests can hang clothes and feel at home.  I also hope to find a used luggage rack to allow our guests a place to prop their suitcase during their visit (rather than just having it on the floor).

This room is a work in progress but we are very excited to have my Mom come and stay this month.  I know that she will enjoy our Arizona temps after enduring the bitter cold of the Midwest the past couple of months. This will be her first visit to Arizona in the past several years and the first without my Dad (who we miss dearly).

To my family and friends, we are taking reservations.  We look forward to having you come and stay with us!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Garbage Party Sneak Peek

EDIT:  Visit part 2 of the festivities here to learn more about our garbage party!

Our garbage and recycle loving little man is turning 4 next week so we are celebrating with a garbage & trash party.  I will give a full run-down of the festivities after the party but I couldn't wait to share some of the decorations and the cake. 

The Recycle Truck Cake & the Inspiration

I am really proud of this one.  I love how it turned out and my sun is already bouncing off the walls and he hasn't even had any sugar laden frosting yet!  I used bread pans to make the cake and shape them in to the truck and mini-donuts for the wheels.

Inspiration for the decorations was pretty easy - reduce, reuse & recycle...or raid the trash bin.  I made the banner using a roll of blue ribbon and I cut triangle penants out of the Sunday newspaper.  Since I don't have a fancy dicutting machine (insert hint to my husband here that a Cricut or a Silhouette machine would be awesome) I cut apart a simple Happy Birthday banner from the dollar store.  I would have loved to cut up food wrappers and boxes for the letters but I ran out of time and well, I love the bright colors of the banner.

I found these small blue garbage cans at the Dollar Tree several months ago and just knew I had to pick them up. They are going to work great for chips and pretzels for the party.

The party is in the morning and I must get some sleep.  I will share more about the fun after we celebrate our little garbage man turning 4!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Won't you be my follower?

I am working hard on growing this blog and filling it with my creative ideas.  It brings me AMAZING joy when people decide to become my follower.  In blogland, followers seems to be a badge of honor - making the blogger feel appreciated and "liked"!

Homemaker on a Dime started a great link party - designed to help new bloggers like me find new followers.  So stop over, check out some of the great blogs that have linked up, become a follower and share your blog too!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Paint Chip Wall Art

The walls are slowly becoming "accessorized" to coin a phrase from my daughter's favorite book Fancy Nancy.  I have been working on our guest room as my Mom is coming to visit in a couple of weeks and I want her room to feel welcoming.  As I mentioned yesterday, the repurposed headboard wall art I told you about yesterday was planned to put in the guest room but may just find its home in another room.  So I still needed a plan for this room.

I loved this idea over at Creative Passage for a paint chip mosaic and I new I needed to use this idea somewhere in my house.  Yesterday I was delivering a few boxes of girl scout cookies to a friend so I ran in to a thrift store that was in the same shopping center and found these awesome custom frames - I swear there were like 15 or 20 of them.  I grabbed 3, then stopped at Lowes to load up on some paint chips from their Seaside Retreat collection.

I kept the blues together, the browns together and the greens together and I love the look.  I simply layed them out, taped them with some scotch tape so they made a sheet.  I had to trim them slightly around the edge since this was a somewhat unusual frame size.  My chips had rounded corners which left a small opening at the corners so I simply taped a piece of copy paper to the back so that the openings were white.  I may go back and embelish each of those corners with something but I haven't decided.

I love how they turned out and can't wait to share the entire room but I have a couple of more projects before I will do the big reveal.  I did run back to the thrift store and pick up 6 more of the frames as I have an idea for our office with these frames and some gift wrap I picked up on clearance at Christmas.  At $2.00 each I couldn't resist.  These are really nice, custom frames with real glass.  I may even pull a couple of them apart and make a square fram with the long sides from 2 frames (and of course a smaller square using the remaining sides).

Monday, January 24, 2011

Repurposed Headboard

I love hitting yard sales and thrift stores.  You just never know what kind of treasures you may find.  Last week I headed across town to the new, expanded Habitat For Humanity Store and saw this circa 1960s headboard.  Not really my taste and while it looks like wood, it is formed plastic over a piece of particle board, attached to a frame with just a couple of screws.  I wasn't in the market for a heaboard and it really wouldn't go with the more modern feeling of our home.

BUT, all week long this silly $10 headboard kept popping in to my crafty brain.  It kept saying, "I am not a headboard, I am a beautiful architectual wall hanging, buy me, bring me home, let me be beautiful."  (I know, it can't talk but that is what I was hearing.) 
I have seen many beautiful pieces of furniture out there in blogland that started out gaudy and dated given a new lease on life with a coate of paint.  So, when I was back on the west side of town over the weekend I swung through the Habistore and it was still there (elation)...I picked it up and carried it up to the check out.  When I got it home I loved it even more.  I immediately got out the drill and pulled it apart.  I grabbed the can of creamy white spray paint I had bought for a different project and went to work. 

Here she is...isn't she amazing.  They need another coat of paint but I am in love.  My plan was to put these in our new guest room, but while sitting on the couch last night and looking at our beautiful new Behr Pure Earth paint on the walls, I had an idea...what would they look like in that great big opening above our fireplace.  So I grabbed a couple of them and propped them up.  Even my husband loves the look.

 Only problem is, it would be awesome if we had 4 of these beauties - sadly there are only 3.  One idea is to hang them vertical one on top of each other, 2 verticle with one horizontal and then add a wrought iron piece, or ....????  So until we come up with a plan, I guess we will just lean two in the giant opening.  We both love, love, love the contrast of the creamy white against the earthy beige.

This love story is to be continued...



Saturday, January 22, 2011

Mastering the Art of Being a Cookie Mom

My baby girl is a kindergartner and a very proud Daisy scout - her first year!  When the call was made to find a cookie mom for the troop, I excitedly volunteered (I know, I had NOOOOO idea what I was getting myself in to!).  I love Girl Scout cookies as most everyone does and I really wanted my baby to experience this.  I was never a GS so this world is very new to me.

So while everyone in blogland is busy organizing and cleaning their homes this week -- I have been trying to get my self organized for cookie sales which began TODAY!  Here in Arizona we do cookies on demand, so instead of taking your order and then waiting for them, we get the cookies up front and sell them cash & carry!

Yesterday my husband and I went to pick up our initial order for our troop (17 girls).  I had pre-ordered 64 cases but since we had room in the truck (wasn't sure what would fit) we picked up 42 additional cases.  Yes, at one point yesterday, I was in possesion of  1272 boxes of girl scout cookies - YUM! 

**1/23 update - you can fit more than 110 cases of cookies into a Honda Pilot and I now have over 2000 boxes of cookies at my house - YIKES!!!!**

So my organizing included breaking up the boxes so each girl would get their intial order.  I made a spreadsheet to help me keep track of what everyone has and to master my inventory.  I can tell you now, I will be headed to the cupboards tomorrow to pick up another 100+ boxes!  Crazy stuff!!!  (The cupboards is where we go to pick up additional boxes of cookies throughout the sale - as there is no way we could get them all up front - can you say warehouse.) 

I am just glad that we have a big open room in our new house that has not been given a true purpose yet - great place to store those cookies!!!

S & I had fun creating her Cookie Mobile too!  We repurposed the canvases that I had painted to match her bedspread at our other house as the colors were perfect for the big cookie sale!  Everyone loves her mobile cookie store!

** If you are in Tucson, let me know if you need some cookies!  My girl would love to get you the boxes that you need  want!!!**

Friday, January 14, 2011

Conversation ♥ Cones

I have been inspired in 2011 to do more crafting and decorating of our new house.  I love being creative and the excitement of completing a project or two.  So a friend of mine shared her new craft blog Simply Crafty Blog on facebook where she had just completed a wreath using conversation hearts.  I loved it but decided to do a little twist on it.  So (as she said) off to Dollar Tree I went to pick up a few bags of hearts and a couple of styrofoam cones.  I had to hit a couple of stores as the first store I went to did not have the cones but I knew I had seen them at one of the other locations - near my favorite new Goodwill store but that is a post for another day.

With glue gun in hand, I burned a few fingers and completed two awesome cones.  The extra hearts went into my favorite vase (from Goodwill of course) and the subway art printable I found at eighteen25.  Here they sit on the hearth.  Happy Valentine's day!

Linked up to...
          IhookedupwithHoHlamespice    UndertheTableandDreaming

Photobucket  handmade projects Photobucket

Monday, January 3, 2011

On The Menu

2011 is our year to get our family eating habits back in check.  Our plan for the next couple of months is to focus on the basics - more fruit and vegetables (atleast 5 a day), more lean meats and less white flour.  So, here is the menu plan for the week...

Monday - Pot Roast with roasted vegetables

Tuesday - Taco Tuesday (chicken)

Wednesday - bbq pork sandwiches

Thursday - Hawaiian pizza on the grill

Friday - Chili

Saturday - leftovers

Sunday - dinner at the in-laws