Create Link Inspire PLUS Spring Projects to get you Through Winter

Welcome to another week of the create, link, inspire link party. I hope you find inspiration here every week and that you check back often for ideas. I'm always impressed with what gets linked up and I always add a handful of crafts, DIY's and recipes to my to do list.

I'm pretty much over winter and ready for spring, so I'm doing my best to surround myself with bright colors, live plants, DIY projects and anything that reminds me that I can hold out for spring. It's not too far away! Come check out all of these great posts that were linked up last week.


How to Paint a Blank Door Mat for Your Home

How to Paint a Blank Door Mat for Your Home

I saw this little mat on a trip to Ikea last week. It was screaming to me and I couldn't pass up this blank slate. I'm pretty sure it cost less than $8.

This was what I thought I would do with it.
What are those? Man hands? Yep, I set to work taping off the mat, but my hubby quickly stepped in and said he would be happy to help. He's pretty good at geometric shapes (he's a mechanical engineer after all!).
And then I took a bottle of black paint and a brush and set to work dabbing the paint on. I'm not sure how it will hold up with dirty wet feet, which is why I didn't take the time to put our last initial on yet. In the meantime, I think it looks pretty good.


Easy Snack Ideas On-the-Go

This post is written by me on behalf of Special K all opinions are 100% my own.

Tracking Pixel
A wise friend once told me failure to plan is planning to fail. I think of that saying often as I try to plan my day. When the kids were younger, it meant making sure that I planned around the hours in which meltdowns may occur. It would involve scheduling around naps and making sure I packed snacks if there was a minute chance that a child may dissolve into tears over hunger, thirst or general moodiness. Now that the kids are in school, my hours during the day look a bit different. I run all of my errands between work hours and appointments and do my best to plan ahead and grab easy snacks for me so that I don't get hungry and end up buying something I don't need or will regret later. I've got a list of easy snack ideas for when you are on-the-go. That way, you can plan ahead and not fail if life throws you a curve ball.


How to Make Curly Korker Hair Ribbons

How to Make Curly Korker Hair Ribbons

My daughter is nearly 8 and has never really been into hair thingies. Can you believe it's taken me this long into parenting a daughter to figure out how to make those little korker hair bows? I mean really?! Where have I been. So if you are like me, and haven't figured it out yet, here's a little tutorial to help you on your way. They are so easy and for me, it was about using up some of the ribbon I had lying around anyway.
Here's what you need: Scissors, pencils (the longer the better), ribbon, and clothespins and later, a sewing needle and thread

Start at one end of your pencil, clothespin in place the end of the ribbon and start wrapping around the pencil until the end. Put your other clothespin on to secure that end, cut off any excess ribbon at an angle and place aside.

You will want to cook a bunch. More than I have on this cookie sheet, but these were the only clothespins I could scrounge up. Cook in your oven at 275 degrees for 25 minutes. Let sit for about 30 seconds, then unwind from your pencil.

Cut each piece into 3-4 inch sections.

Get out your sewing needle and put a knot in the end about 3-4 inches up.

See where my finger is, that's where the knot is.

Push your needle through the middle of the first ribbon and keep stacking the ribbons on top in the order you want them. Then once your needle is through, go back through as close to the initial spot as possible.

Then, take your two ends of extra thread and tie them together in a knot. I always tie a few times, then I use the extra thread to tie it on to whatever hair accessory my korker is going on to. In this case, I tied it to a ponytail holder.

That's it! You can make them as full as you want them by adding more ribbon. Have fun with these!


Updating a 90's Living Room in a Model Home

They say that the kitchen is the heart of the home but when you are a family raising kids, I would say that the living room gives the kitchen some competition. Perhaps it could be considered the backbone of the home. So much time is spent there, especially as homes with open concepts become the norm. No longer are we separated in different rooms, instead we flow from space to space. 

We have some dear friends that we have been doing life with for more than a decade. We have kids that are similar ages and have enjoyed serving together in many different ways. They constantly open their home for events and functions and we have spent countless hours together in this living room with them. Over Christmas, the gas fireplace that they use nearly everyday exploded. Glass flew everywhere and sent the family asking questions about the safety of their home fireplace. Experts weighed in and what they found was that something like this is extremely rare and while the fireplace didn't technically "explode" {had it done that, the whole insert would have blown out and landed across the room}, the glass had failed over time. 

The need to replace the fireplace sent this family into complete remodeling mode with a desire to update the room of their home that has become such an important space for this family of five. While my friend knows what she likes and what she doesn't, she often doesn't trust herself to make decisions on design and I offered to be a hand to hold and thought my readers might be interested in going along on the process of updating a 90's living room. So they have graciously opened up their space once again, this time to all of you and we will be working together to complete a new design that this family can continue to grow into as their family evolves and changes.


Why it Matters to Cite and Credit the Proper Source on Pinterest and How to do it

computer, social media, sharing is caring

Maybe this is just a pet peeve of mine that has turned into an irrational chord that gets struck every.single.time I see it, but in this digital age, I feel like this bears mentioning because maybe truly you just didn't know. I love the internet I really do. It's hard to remember what life was like when we didn't have so much visual inspiration and information available to us instantaneously. However, there are some misuses of said inspiration that requires this little PSA. Via Pinterest isn't a way to credit anything. Period. Pinterest isn't a source. Pinterest is a bulletin board of sorts. A way to keep all of the digital media pinned in one place. It's a source of inspiration BUT it isn't THE inspiration. 

There are hard working bloggers, designers, photographers, authors, and individuals that are behind every image that you see. A fellow blogger {Emily from Eleven Gables} wrote this sentiment and posted it on her Instagram account.  I'm hoping that I can explain to you why you shouldn't take images and share them without their proper source because this just adds to the cycle of image theft. And you aren't a stealer are you? 

creator, blogger, designer, social media


What to do with a yard of Fabric?

What to Sew with a Yard of Fabric

I happened to be shopping with my princess last week and came upon the half price red tag fabric sale. I decided to let Isabella pick some fabric out, at $2 a yard I couldn't go too wrong...or so I thought. My lovely daughter and I spent the next thirty minutes fighting over ribbon to accent the dress with! I was about to ditch the whole idea when I finally exasperated her enough to agree to my suggestions. I don't make many clothes because I don't think it's as economical as garage sale shopping but this dress cost around $3 to make, so it didn't break the bank. I will highlight a few of the things I did to make the dress, but I didn't make a pattern or measure so I can't really give you any specific tutorial, if nothing else you will find some inspiration.

I used two different dresses from my daughters closet to make the pattern. I folded the dress in half and used that to cut on the fold. Notice in the above picture I didn't go right to the edge of the fold, but instead gave myself about a half an inch of room. My fabric wasn't quite as stretch as the Jersey in the dress and I didn't want to mess with zippers or buttons.
I used the blue dress as a guide to make the arm and neck holes. I made this piece to be the back.

I had a little fabric left and racked my brain on how to make a front for the dress. I probably should have made the first cut on the fold as the front, but I made subtle pleats so it hid the seam that I was forced to make by putting the two front pieces together.
Then I cut the top. Again, I cut on the fold and used the blue dress as a guide. I only needed a front piece, since the back piece was cut from top to bottom.
I then used my old "change the tension and thread length" to make the bottom of the bodice gathered. This is when I stopped taking pictures of the process. But I finished the raw edges, pleated the bottom of the front, sewed the bodice and the front piece together, then sewed the two sides together and hemmed the skirt. It really only took me about an hour to make from start to finish...well, an hour if I hadn't been interrupted every few minutes to break up a fight or get a snack or ride bikes. And this is the finished product on my beauty queen. The ribbon is just tied around the middle with a bow in the back.

I added three matching flowers on the bodice. I will explain how I did that tomorrow.

Create Link Inspire Link Party Plus Organize Just About Anything

Welcome to another week of the create, link, inspire link party. I hope you find inspiration here every week and that you check back often for ideas. I'm always impressed with what gets linked up and I always add a handful of crafts, DIY's and recipes to my to do list. 

This week I am sharing some fun organizing ideas that were linked up. Come check out the DIY's, printables and organizing solutions these smart bloggers have come up with.


How to increase the length of your curtains

How to increase the length of your curtains

We have lived in our house for nine years and I have never quite figured out what to do with the window treatments in our formal living room/dining room area. The curved window has always thrown me off. A few years ago we had lighted crown moulding installed and I love the look of it. But as much as I love it, I still could not figure out what to do with the room. It's always confused me.
While on vacation in Cancun this past November, our hotel had these massive windows and these curtains that seemed to go on forever. I was inspired to get some really long curtains and hang our curtain rods up as high as I could. I love the result! I can't believe how grand it makes the room seem. I ended up finding some double tab top panels at Ikea for $14.99 (holy cow that was a great deal!) and if you have ever bought Ikea curtains before you know they are generous in size (about 98 inches to be exact). I had some leftover fabric from when we reupholstered our chairs and used that to extend the length a bit. I just sewed them on to the bottom of each panel and then used hem tape (love that stuff!) to finish it off.


Paprika Chicken Recipe

We eat a lot of chicken. It's not only a great source of lean protein, it's also a meat that's fairly inexpensive. My family all loves chicken so usually it's a no brainer as a main course for dinnertime. However, finding new ways to prepare it is sometimes a little bit more challenging. This dish is perfect for someone who likes a little spice! Combine it with a bed of lettuce to help it from becoming too spicy. 

homemade, whole foods, eat clean


DIY Leather Laptop Sleeve Tutorial

easy to make, laptop sleeve, faux leather

Do you ever have an idea in your mind of something that you want but you can't seem to find it? Or if you do find it, it's {far} out of your price range? I recently got a new laptop and I knew I needed a case for it, but what I was looking for just couldn't be found. I love the look of leather everything right now. Like I'm obsessed with it. So I had it narrowed down enough to know that I wanted a leather laptop sleeve. Of course the first place I turn is Amazon because as a Prime member it gets here yesterday, but I couldn't find what I was looking for. I started to search on-line and all the cases I was coming up with were $150+. I loved the look of the handmade leather laptop cases I was finding but I just couldn't justify the cost. So like all things, if I can't find what I want, I set out to make my own. This DIY {faux} leather laptop case cost me less than $20 and an hour of my time to make. My goal is to inspire my readers to want to create as well so I'm sharing how I made my laptop sleeve with you. You may like aspects of the case and take inspiration from this to create one that fits your needs.

easy to make, laptop sleeve, faux leather, sew, pattern


Create Link Inspire Party with Thrifty DIY Projects

Welcome back to another week of the Create Link Inspire party. I hope you find inspiration here every Monday. Last week I shared a HUGE list of Valentine's day treats to try. In case you missed it, you can find that list here. You aren't going to want to miss these drinks, desserts, and all around yummy snacks. This week, I checked out every single entry in the link party and put together a collection of the best budget friendly DIY projects and ideas from the party. 

I think you are going to like them! Come on over and check them out!


Jenny Craig-Stay on Track While on Vacation

Thank you Jenny Craig for sponsoring this post. -- Get serious about losing weight with Jenny Craig!

For most people, going on vacation means leaving behind their daily routine, but that doesn't mean that you can't still maintain the healthy habits you try to incorporate into your life every single day. I had the opportunity to travel for a long weekend to Hawaii smack dab in the middle of my month long Jenny Craig reset. You see, in the matter of about six months, I packed on about ten pounds. A major car accident about a year ago left me with a limited activity level and unexplained pain that turned into chronic pain. I spent most of last year visiting doctors offices and trying to get to the root cause of the pain I was experiencing and in the process, my body slowed down to a crawl and decided to start packing the pounds on. It was only about ten pounds and I was still in a healthy weight range for my height, but I didn't want ten pounds to turn into twenty pounds to turn into thirty pounds. My clothes no longer fit and instead of buying a whole new wardrobe, I knew that I needed to hit restart, so I joined Jenny Craig at the start of the new year. I jumped head first into a weight-loss program for the first time in my life. I wasn't quite sure what that was going to look like as I traveled, but surprisingly I returned from Hawaii four pounds lighter. I'm going to share with you how you can stay on track with Jenny Craig even while on vacation.


Valentine's Day Tic-Tac-Toe

Valentine's Day is just around the corner. If there is any holiday that I am a last minute Lucy, it's this one. I'm always looking for new easy, fast ideas that make it look like I didn't wait until the last minute to make, even though I almost always do. I had nearly all these supplies on hand to make these Valentine's Day tic-tac-toe bags but if you don't, they aren't hard to come by. You can make them in under 10 minutes. 

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