March 30, 2012

Flowering Trees & Scary Bees

Since planting trees in our backyard last May, I’ve been looking forward to when they’d flower this spring.  Our trees, a semi-dwarf peach tree and flowering Cleveland pear tree, have grown a lot since we planted them last year and are still small, but they are flowering and beautiful right now!


I was taking these photos when I heard a buzzing above my head.  It was a fuzzy bumblebee!


Someone told me that the fuzzy bees don’t sting, but I don’t think that’s true. I was risky and got close to the bee but would jump back every time it moved to fly to another flower.  My neighbors must have thought I was nuts as I was twisting and turning to get out of the bee’s way while I snapped photos.  I was ducking all over the place and even stepped in dog poop as I was trying to avoid the sucker!


The pear tree is flowering too and thankfully I didn’t have anymore brushes with wildlife while trying to photograph it.


Spring is such a beautiful time of year!  I could do without the insect encounters though.  Are trees blooming in your neck of the woods?

March 26, 2012

Nautical Map Pillow

I may have gone a little pillow crazy again.  In addition to fabric pillows I showed you guys recently, I’ve made a few unusual pillows in the past: a tea towel pillow, argyle sweater pillow, and placemat pillows.  Well call me crazy, but I’ve made another placemat pillow.

I just couldn’t help myself when I saw this nautical print placemat for under $1 at the Christmas Tree Shops. 


But it gets even better, the other side of the placemat has this great antique looking nautical map.


How awesome is that map!  So I simply unstitched a portion of the pillow and filled it with polyester fiberfill (bought at AC Moore- with a coupon of course).  I sewed this bad boy back up and in a matter of minutes I had this amazing nautical antique map pillow.


Doesn’t it look fantastic?  I love nautical and beach themed stuff, so this print is right up my alley.


I can’t wait to put out my summer décor, l think this pillow will look great along with it.


The other side of the pillow looks nice too and has a fun nautical look.


I’m really happy with how this pillow turned out.  I find so much great stuff at the Christmas Tree Shops.  Do you have a favorite store for home décor goodies?

I'm linking this project up to Tatertots & JelloBeneath My Heart, 320 Sycamore, House of Hepworths, Delightful Order, Embracing Change, Rad Crafter, and Thistlewood Farms

March 22, 2012

Outdoor Project Inspiration

I’ve been feeling a little sick…I think I come down with a case of spring fever!  The unusually warm weather we’ve been having (it’s supposed to get as high as 80 degrees today or tomorrow- in March!) has gotten me in the mood for gardening and other outdoor projects.  You know I love summer time, so a taste of summer like weather in March gets me very excited!  I’ve already been looking up gardening and outdoor projects I can try this year.

Here are a few of the inspiration projects I’ve come across online:

Flower Pots on each Step (from Garden Fresh Living)


Tiered Colorful House Number Planters (from Positively Splendid)
Moss Graffiti (from I Waste So Much Time)

Stone Paver Outdoor Bench (from Pinterest)
Gutter Rain Chain (from Curbly)
You might see me trying out some of these ideas this spring.  Have you caught a case of spring fever too?  What projects have caught your eye?

March 19, 2012

Spring Already?

Usually about this time of year I start complaining about how winter won’t end.  But this year, I’m elated that it feels like spring already!  We had gorgeous 70 degree weather all weekend in these parts and it felt like a beautiful start to spring.  In the past, we’ve had snow in March so its hard to believe that 70 degree weather is already here.  But I’m not complaining! 

Even some spring bulbs are already in bloom, weeks ahead of schedule. The daffodils are out in full force.



And so are the hyacinth.  I wish I could cut a bouquet of these for each one of you because they smell absolutely heavenly.  I stop and smell the flowers every time I pass by them.


By comparison, about this time this year (even a little later), my hyacinths had only just popped up and were not blooming yet.  I’m not sure what’s going on with this wacky-nice weather, but I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts. We hit our garden this weekend and started cleaning up our front and backyards.  I’ve already bought the seeds I’d like to plant for this year and am excited to get started with them.

Were you lucky enough to experience spring-like weather this weekend too?

March 16, 2012

Fun Paint Color Selection Tool

I am excited to share a new paint color selection tool today!  Believe it or not, there is actually a tool out there that makes choosing paint colors fun and easy!  Don’t believe me?  Take a look for yourself and prepare to be amazed.

The awesome people at Glidden Paints have come up with a tool called My Image Inspiration which lets you upload a photo of your choice, and they will recommend paint colors for you based on the colors from your image.  How cool is that!

I tried it for myself by uploading this photo I took in Bermuda.  As you may know, Bermuda is pretty much my favorite place on Earth!


I think Bermuda is gorgeous, so how great would it be to choose a paint color inspired by my very favorite place!  I uploaded this photo into the My Image Inspiration tool on the MyColortopia website and selected the area of the photo I wanted to draw color inspiration from.  The tool gave me five paint colors based on my photo and from there was able to click on each color for a suggested color pallet.


And you know how I can tell the tool works well?  I uploaded a photo of Bermuda, and one of the paint colors the tool suggested was called “Bermuda Bay!”  It was right on the money!bermuda-bay-paint-color

The tool was so much fun, I tried it with another photo too.  You know how much I love to travel, so I chose a photo from our vacation to Europe last year.  I got a kick out of this old woman doll/statue that was outside of a little shop in Corsica. 


I uploaded the photo to the My Image Inspiration tool and let it do its magic.


This image gave me a selection of warm colors to choose from.  I selected “Sweet Tea” and the tool recommended three different color pallets.  I especially like the middle one.  How cool would it be to show people that your home’s paint colors where inspired by your favorite place.

You can check out the My Image Inspiration tool for yourself on Glidden’s MyColortopia website.  The website actually has a lot of great other features too, like the fun color quiz I shared recently, as well as lots of really great articles from some amazing bloggers who are even answering questions submitted by readers!  Check out the MyColortopia site for that great info.

Note: I have been sponsored by Glidden brand paint to write this post but the thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

March 14, 2012

DIY Photo Coasters

It’s Pinterest Challenge time!  The Pinterest Challenge was thought up by Katie and Sherry to inspire us to actually MAKE something that we Pin on Pinterest- you know, instead of just pinning a bunch of stuff and letting it sit there. 

Somehow my Pinterest challenges unintentionally end up being travel related.  For the first one, I made a map photo frame and for the second one I made an entire travel themed photo gallery wall.  Unintentionally, I stuck with the travel theme for this latest challenge and made photo coasters from vintage Jersey shore photos.


I was inspired from seeing these travel coasters on Pinterest (shared on House of Turquoise, but originally from Better Homes & Gardens).

A while back, a friend gave us glass photo coasters from Target.  They came with a photo of some rocks, but the photo is removable so you can insert a pic of your choice.


Since we love the beach so much, I though it would be fun to use some vintage images of the New Jersey shore.  So I went online and searched for a bunch of free vintage images of some of our favorite Jersey shore spots.  I really love vintage travel stuff so this is right up my alley.


After I printed a bunch of old images out, I used the rock photo as a guide to see which images could be cropped to the right size to fit in the opening for the photo.  I chose three images from three of our favorite places at the Jersey shore, beaches that are particularly special to us because we went there while we were dating (Cape May, Wildwood, and Atlantic City, New Jersey).  The fourth image is a general New Jersey Seashore vintage picture.


After the pictures were cut to size, they were easy to pop right in the back of the coaster.  The coasters are made to also double as mini-photo frames so I could even stand them up, but I prefer them in coaster format.


I added the coasters to my living room side table and think they add a little cheer and fun.


We like pretty much anything that reminds us of the beach, so these are the perfect fit for us.


Is it summer yet?  These are making me want to drive right down to the beach!  I even had a dream I was at the shore last night, so these coasters and beach season must really be on my mind!

March 12, 2012

Easy Trick to Grow Green Onions

Oh Pinterest, you are so very wise.  You have taught me so much, including how to grow my own green onions.  I saw this pin on Pinterest which said you could take your used green onions from the supermarket and regrow them yourself.  Since we regularly buy green onions (aka scallions) I had to try it out myself.

I had a few green onions laying around in the fridge.  To be honest, they were there for sometime and probably not so fresh, but I decided to give it a go anyway.


I cut off the green part of the scallions down to the white section and just put the cut pieces into a small jar of water.  I added just enough water to cover the creepy looking roots and placed it on my kitchen table which receives some indirect sunlight during the day.


Five days later (I counted) I was already seeing some green onion growth! 


I was surprised the scallions were growing past the top of the jar in under a week. 


As the green onions grew, I replaced the water several times whenever it started looking a little cloudy.  I also made sure the water was covering the white section of the green onions at all times.  A couple of weeks later I was really in business, the green onions were much bigger and ready to be eaten! 


When you need some scallions, just snip off the green part and use it as you wish, they will continue to grow back again and again!  The scallions would have been even bigger in the above photo, but I had already snipped them a few time for my consumption (I sprinkle some over nachos…so good!) 

I only started with 4 green onions, but I plan on buying some more from the store and using this technique on them so I won’t have to use them so sparingly. I haven’t experimented with adding more or less sunshine, but I might try some more sunlight next.  I’m sure you could also plant these in the ground, but I haven’t given that a go and am not sure if it would have the same never-ending effect.  Anyone know? 

What other tips and tricks have you come across on Pinterest?  (P.S. You can find my Pinterest boards and follow me here!)

March 08, 2012

What's Dry and Old and in my Vase?

I love getting fresh flowers, but I’m always disappointed when it’s time to throw them out.  So I decided to keep my Valentine’s Day flowers a little longer than usual this year.

I sadly had to toss the roses when they got too old, but the baby’s breath stuck around. 


I simply put the dried baby’s breath into a little milk vase.  It add a little touch of spring I think.

What do you think?  Do you display any dried flowers?

P.S. Want to see what that lamp used to look like?  Check out my lamp makeover here.

P.P.S Want to win $50 to Home Depot???  Check out the giveaway I have going on now,  over here.

March 06, 2012

Time to Spray Paint

I recently snagged a mantle clock from my cousin who was getting rid of it.  Originally from Home Goods, I liked the clock but it wasn’t really my style. 

I thought it would look nice on top of my kitchen cabinets, but the color looked too bland against the walls and cabinets.  That’s right, my kitchen cabinets are still oak colored *gasp*!  Please tell me I’m not the only one with unpainted oak cabinets still.  Anyone out there still rocking the oak too?  Anyone???


I digress...back to the clock.  I thought it would look nicer repainted and I decided to go a little wild and try a fun bright color.  I chose Valspar’s Exotic Sea turquoise which I already had on hand from spray painting an outdoor candle holder.

I gave it a go and the clock is definitely bright, but I’m not sure I’m feeling the turquoise in this situation.


The color doesn’t really seem to fit with the style of the clock either.  I could change out the face with a more modern print, but I’m still not sure if that would win me over on the turquoise.  I’m thinking it’s time to repaint. 

I was thinking to paint it a regal red (previously seen in my spray painted sea shell and outdoor planters); red just seems more kitchen-y to me.  But then I was poking around on the internet and came across a nearly identical clock in black.

This one is for sale for $49 on Amazon, which makes my $0 clock seem like even more of a steal!  But now I’m thinking maybe a black or oil-rubbed bronze color is the better way to go?

What do you think, which color should I paint the clock?  And any oak kitchens out there?

P.S. Make sure to enter my $50 Home Depot Giveaway from Kwikset this week!

March 05, 2012

Kwikset $50 Home Depot Gift Card Giveaway

We work hard to build beautiful homes that we love, but what’s more important than keeping our homes and family safe?  So I jumped at the chance to upgrade my home’s security with Kwikset SmartKey locks when the nice people at Kwikset and Home Depot contacted me recently.  I headed over Home Depot where I picked up an additional deadbolt for my home.

Kwikset SmartKey deadbolts have passed the most stringent lock picking standards and have Grade 1 security, the highest level of tested residential security available in the industry.  These are no joke!

I was happy to pick up a deadbolt with Bump Guard protection.  The SmartKey locks feature a side-locking bar which replaces the traditional pin and tumbler design of locks which can be vulnerable to lock-bumping. 

If you haven’t heard of lock bumping yet, it is scarrrry.  Basically, criminals can use a specially modified key and insert it into a lock, then after a few bumps with a hammer or other tool, the lock pops open in a matter of seconds.  This video better explains the dangers of lock bumping:

The SmartKey locks are called “smart” for another reason too.  They allow homeowners to quickly re-key their locks without removing them.  This means that you can loan a key temporarily to a neighbor or contractor and re-key the lock to give them a key that’s different from the one you ordinarily use.  So you can render lost or unreturned keys useless if you wish, without having to install totally new locks. 

You can pick up Kwikset SmartKey locks online or at your local Home Depot.  You can also check out Home Depot on Facebook and Twitter.  I will be back this week with details on how I installed mine.  In the meanwhile, who wants to win a $50 gift card to Home Depot???  Yep, they have generously offered up a $50 gift card to one lucky winner.

Here’s the scoop on how to enter: 

- Prize: $50 Home Depot Gift Card
- Enter By: Monday 3/12/2012 2pm EST.
- To Enter: Just leave a comment!
- Bonus Entry: Follow my blog through an RSS Feed (like Google Reader) or on Blogger/Google Friend Connect.  Leave a separate comment saying you’ve done so.  If you are already a follower, leave a comment saying so.

--This Giveaway is now closed---

Note: The Home Depot partnered with bloggers such as me to help promote their KwikSet Lock product. As part of this promotion, I received compensation. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about the products. The Home Depot believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. The Home Depot’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.

March 02, 2012

My Favorite Projects: February 2012

I heard someone say “Happy New Year” the other day.  I too am surprised at how quickly this year has been moving, but I think we can all agree we are well past the Happy New Year part of the year!  Welcome to March!

Like usual, at the start of each month I like to take a look back at the previous month and share some of my favorite projects that I came across on other blogs. 

First, here’s what I was up to in February.  The month started off a little slow as I was adjusting to a starting a new job, but I ended up accomplishing a few cool projects.  Click on the link to see the full size photo and read the full scoop about the project.

I added some folksy art to my kitchen:

I showed off the family room pillows that I sewed:

I organized my coat closet:

I celebrated Valentine’s Day with a heart shaped pizza:

I had a laugh at blogging:

And I updated my 30th Birthday trivia printable for 1982:

I came across a ton of great projects on other blogs too. Here’s are some of my favorites.

Oak Ridge Revival did a beautiful job making over her daughter’s bedroom:

Addicted 2 Decorating made a very cool lamp from a globe:

Hi Sugarplum created some very stylish mirrored boxes.  Don’t be surprised if you see me try this out someday!

And you will never believe what Matsutake’s lamp looked like before this amazing transformation (found via Curbly).

Aren’t these projects incredible! What were your highlights from February?