Sunday, November 28, 2010

No sew Burlap Flower Pillow

OK, this pillow is so cute and I don't have a decent camera so please forgive this crappy photo. First of all, mea culpa, I cannot sew, although I have tried. So any projects that I do need to be no-sew or quick hand sew. If you can sew god bless you and you'll have a prettier end result than I will.
OK, so a few months ago I went bananas for burlap and bought 10 yards of it. I made table runners, pillows, a skirt for my weird entertainment system (that's a whole other entry), and much much more! Anyway, for a while I had these plain burlap pillows on a trunk in my family room, making me snore every time I walked by them. Then, Friday morning, I picked up a magazine off the floor. It was opened to a page that had this cute wool felt pillow with a huge flower on the front. I looked at it and thought heck I can do that! So while the baby licked jam off his toast in his high chair and Only Daughter and #2 Son waited for the bus, I cut out about 10 burlap flowers freehand, getting smaller each time I cut. then I glued them on, biggest first in descending order. Here's what I got (excuse the picture, again). Oh, I added a little fabric button that came with a blazer I got years ago.
 You could do this with a store bought pillow and embellish with a large or small flower, or try it in felt.
I am going to try this with the wool felt, as soon as I can get some on sale. I love projects I can do while still in my bathrobe.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I'm a sucker for silhouettes! Gift Idea Alert!!!!

Christmas Gift Idea Alert!!!!
I LOVE silhouettes, and I have since i was a little girl and my grandmother had silhouettes of my mom and her 4 siblings going up the stairs at her house. At one point I started pricing how much it would cost to have someone do them for me. Uh... thanks but no thanks. I couldn't even bear the cost of the frames!

So I googled "how to make a silhouette" and found some great links. Here is the one I went for. It was actually fun. Once I got all 4 kids to pose in profile, I downloaded the photos and follwed the directions at Older and Wisor, which is a really cute blog.

 I  used black scrapbook paper for the actual silhouette and a patterned one for the background. I shrank mine down and used $3.50 frames (half off) from Hobby Lobby. Shrinking the image down was a little awkward, next time I would leave it alone.
My husband asked me to do them again next year full size. I think I will make it an annual event, especially since #1 Son already has an adams apple showing on his silhouette (ack!).
Cutting out smaller ones is more difficult, too, especially the nose! My one tip is to move the paper, not the scissors. And maybe start with a big one. Good luck! Let me know how it goes! Oh, and these are great as gifts, especially for grandparents. Or father's day.
My husband thinks it's a riot that thier little faces are turned towrds that saying. Keep calm! Ha!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Boxwood topiary for $1

Do you like my little owl? I got her at Ace Hardware.
 In honor of the new Harry Potter movie. Geek alert.

Ooh I just love a little "grace" for nothin'! I have had these two iron urns for years, and have probably killed a dozen ivy in those urns. I knew I needed something green and fresh for the kitchen Thanksgiving mantle so I took inspiration from my family room mantle which already has some preserved boxwood topiaries. I bought those a few years ago and they are still going strong. So I am not against the expense of preserved boxwood on principle; it's just that right now that kind of fun money is going straight to T-giving food and Xmas gifts.

Right, so I had my inspiration. And I had my urns. And I have about 6 boxwoods in the front bed. So I paid $1 for a rectangle shaped block of florist foam at the dollar store. 
1) I cut the block of foam in half and crammed each half into each urn so they were the same height.
2)Then I cut a huge plastic shopping bag full of boxwood clippings. Trust me when I say you will need waaaay more than you think.
Chia pet stage. Note Little Man in the upper right hand corner,
oblivious to mommy's funny hobby.
3) I started on the top. I made sure I did both topiaries at the same time so they would be fairly symmetrical, using bushy clippings at the corners.

place cuttings down center to start filling out sides.

4)Then I started down the sides, making a line down the middle of the side and filling in. Just work one side at a time. Fill in where needed. Done!
I know my preserved boxwood just needs to be misted occassionally to stay green... and I don't think I have done it since last year! I have no idea if these will wither and die or last forever (probably not). But in the meantime, they look pretty good for a buck!

Friday, November 19, 2010

great giveaway on cozy.cottage.cute

if you love to stamp (and this time of year who doesn't?) check out this great giveaway!

The Inspired Room Holiday Candle

The Inspired Room
Eureka! Every holiday I like to have a new kind of votive candle to make. I give them as teacher's gifts and to my best girls. FINALLY one has popped up on the blogoshere that I can rip off be inspired by! Check out this wonderful mason jar holiday candle from The Inspired Room . Halleluia!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Thankful branch

I am once again totally ripping off stuff from my BFF in order to make things cute around here. She is super clever and is always inspiring me; this time I am giving an actual photo of her fabulous-ness. How fabulously shabby chic is she?
When she and I recently visited for a much needed BFF weekend, we stopped into Pottery Barn and picked up a few cute little things, including the mercury glass vase you see. I brought my vases home and plonked them on the mantle in the family room. BFF went home and made a Thankful Branch. She went outside, plucked a nice branch off a tree, used her little mini alphabet stamp, some white blank tags and some pretty sheer ribbon and made this darling fall decor. It's simple and sweet and chic and natural. So off course I went totally Single White Female and ripped her idea off pronto. BFF suggested I do this for the baby shower I had a couple of weeks ago. Instead of Thankful words, I used baby words, like "snips and snails" "puppydog tails" "ten Fingers" "Ten Toes" "Snuggles" "First Steps" "First Words" "Love" "Baby Kisses" etc.. and the baby's name. After the shower, I gave it to the mom to be, and she is putting it in the baby's room!

This would also be great as a Thanksgiving craft with the kids; have them choose things they are thankful for and help them stamp out (or write) the words and hang them on a branch. Cute!
 Enjoy, and be safe during this holiday!

Royal Wedding!!!

I interrupt my normal routine just to talk about the newly announced engagement of Prince William to his college girlfriend Kate Middleton. Way to stay focused Kate! They do say patience is a virtue...

Thanks How cute are they?
 So nearly 30 years (gulp) after I set my alarm for 5:30 am EST to watch the wedding of HRH Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer (in the middle of July! Scared my father to death when he came downstairs for work!) I will once again be getting up early for a royal wedding, but this time I don't need an alarm (4 kids, 2 dogs. You get the picture) And I must say the couple seems much better suited this time. And I got a little shiver when I saw Kate wearing Diana's engagement ring.
Congratulations to the couple, and may they live a long happy life... together.

Monday, November 15, 2010


giveaway. this blog is adorable and hasthe best flower tutorial ever. thanks to her I have my teacher's and hostess gifts set. checkout her giveaway!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Food, Glorious (Baby) Food!

I heard angels sing today as I wandered down the baby food aisle at Wal mart today. Usually I just get a few little "extras" for my littlest man; he's 19 months so he's eating Big People Food and feeding himself. But I like to also supplement his meals with some baby veggies or fruit, just for the added calories and nutrients. About a year ago I found Sprout baby food at a Publix in Florida. I was hooked: Tyler Florence developed this line of baby food when he had his own baby. It's all organic and packed in these awesome envelopes that travel well and re-seal. AND (drumroll please), my guy reeeaaally loves this food.
I would occasionally make a special trip to our Publix here to get some. But it's not usually feasible for me to drive 30 minutes for one item, so you can imagine my delight when I saw these today at my local Wally World. It was a shock because until last week they didn't have any of the better organic baby food. Now they carry this and Good Earth. Thank you WM! For all the details and ingredients (I wish I made food this healthy for the rest of us) check it out here (they usually have a printable coupon too!)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Some Grace, on the cheap

This summer I had had enough of my dark dinnerware. At one time I thought they were great but one day I looked at them and thought Blech! I looked online for some shabby chic-style pates, in antique white, with a distressed look. Even at one of my favorite stores with a bullseye logo a set was over 70 bucks. I know for dishes that's not too bad, but with 4 kids my stuff gets beat up; I was not investing much.
Wandering (at top speed) through Wal-Mart one day I came upon these adorable dishes. These are from Better Homes & Gardens. A set of 16 pieces was 30 something dollars, and the pieces are also available individually, anticipating my broken cereal bowls and dropped mugs. The set included 4 dinner plates, 4 mugs, 4 bowls and 4 salad plates. I got 2 sets. They have actually turned out to be very sturdy little buggers, as well as great in the microwave (they don't get too hot) and they just look so darn cute! Thanks Wally World!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Flavor Part, again

sorry this pic is so lame
Tis the season for open houses, buffets, luncheons, family dinners, etc... I'm full just thinking about the feeding frenzy we have at Thanksgiving. There will be a lot of cooking, prepping, cleaning up. Every once in a while it sure is nice to find a recipe so easy and yet so tasty I almost feel guilty about it. Almost. Anyway, I had a baby shower for a friend last weekend and this Fruit Dip is about the easiest thing going. It was definitely the simplest thing on the table (any of the fancy food I can take absolutely zero credit for: my friend Cindy is a Genius with food).
I can't give credit to the original author of this recipe because I tested the recipe for a cookbook and it was annonymous. If I find out the source I will amend this post.
But for now, here it is:
Fruit Dip:
1 container marshmallow fluff
1 container strawberry cream cheese.
Blend well. Serve with fruit.
It's so good you can spread it on bagels, muffins, scones, you name it. I would even say it would make a mighty fine cream cheese frosting. Go crazy.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Getting the Boot

OK there is no doubt that this season is all about boots... short, mid, tall, super tall, flat heeled, cowboy, you name it. Boots are great because you can wear them with just about everything and there doesn't seem to be a master list somewhere saying "don't". You can pretty much wear them how you like. Here's the trouble: boots are so darn expensive! And interestingly the ones I like the best seem to always come with a gigantic pricetag attached. Enter Ruche: a super cute, Anthropologie-style online only shop. Besides very cute and very affordable clothes and accessories, home decor and office accessories, they have footwear. Vintage inspired footwear, and more to the point, boots. The pair above are called Let's Take a Ride Knee High Boots and they are $52.99. Help me Rhonda.
I just learned about Ruche a few months ago, where the heck have I been? Oh yeah, changing diapers and nursing in a darkened room... Sometimes I just like to "browse". The whole site is like a warm cup of cocoa and a snuggly blanket. But if you love something, get it, cuz things sell out fast!

Monday, November 8, 2010

E.L.F. just in time for Xmas!

No I am not refering to Santa's helpers, or even Will Ferrell's must-see movie, but to my favorite on line, super inexpensive (notice I did not say "cheap") make up store. If you're like me and have a raging slight addiction to lipgloss, this is your new best friend.
Have any teen girls in your life? A gift certificate to this place will keep them in glitter eyeshadow and gloss for a year! The quality is great, too. Some of my favorites are the mineral lip gloss (the colors are more subtle than they appear on the website), the concealer/highlighter duo for eyes, and the mineral zit concealer, or whatever it's called. Clears those fun "after 40" pimples up in a flash with no goop. Check it all out!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Grace and Flavor: the story behind the name

OK here's the deal: anyone who knows me knows I LOVE all things British (hardcore Anglophilia). I first traveled to England when I was 16, where I spent the summer as an exchange student. Luckily I have been able to visit many times since and am still in touch with my exchange family, lo these many (ahem, 25) years later. Awesome. Or rather: Brilliant!
Anyway, there is a term used to describe a property owned by the monarch (Elizabeth II) that is granted to heads of state and former employees of the royal household as part of a retirement package. See here for the Wikipedia definition and more detail. Some of the houses look like the one above but many are small cottages.
Soooo, I just love the sound of that phrase and it meets all my criteria for awesome: it's British and has something to do with the Queen (more on her later). Anyway, I have always dreamed of having a little english tea room, or an etsy shop, or a gift shop or a brand of tea and naming it "Grace and Flavor", a little play on the words. Of course I had to drop the "u" from "flavour" because I am, after all, American, and we streamlined that word (and "favour" and "colour") about 200 years ago.
God save the Queen. God Bless America (I think I am culturally bi-polar).

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Now for the Flavor Part...

I might be brand spankin' new at this blog thing, but a lot of moms out there are pros... one of my favorite blogs for great recipes is Cooking on Clover Lane. Sarah's blogs (she also has a lifestyle/parenting blog called Memories on Clover Lane that I am devoted to) have given me a new lease on my culinary life. Trying to keep 6 palates (many picky palates) happy is always a challenge. Sarah's recipes have saved my skin many nights. Tonight it's Slow Cooker Chicken Fettucine. YUM! And did I mention that two of the most beautiful words in the english language are Slow Cooker?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Fall Seasonal Steals

Here is one feature of my blog: Seasonal Steals! Today's Seasonal Steals are 8 inch mums for $1.66 each at Wal Mart! Instant autumn accent. I wrapped the black plasic pots in scraps of burlap I had on hand, tied with ribbon. Cheap and chic, and done.

I am just starting my blog, so be patient as I try to add more info to my profile and to my posts. Weekly features will include easy and inexpensive crafts, home decor on a dime, family recipes and general "mom" stuff. And I can take the time to explain the title of my blog.

ok, maybe I need to sweep.