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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!

  flowering-dwarf-peach-tree

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

flowering-peach-tree

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!

bumblebee

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

flowering-cleveland-pear-tree

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?

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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. 

nautical-fabric

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

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.

nautical-map-pillow

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

antique-map-pillow

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

map-placemat-pillow

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

nautical-pillow

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

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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-steps

Flower Pots on each Step (from Garden Fresh Living)

 

tiered-planters
Tiered Colorful House Number Planters (from Positively Splendid)
 
 
moss-graffiti
Moss Graffiti (from I Waste So Much Time)
 

stone-outdoor-bench
Stone Paver Outdoor Bench (from Pinterest)
 
 
rain-chain
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?

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Spring Already?


March 19, 2012
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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.

daffodils

daffodil

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.

hyacinth

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?

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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!

bermuda-beach

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.

paint-color-inspiration

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. 

corsica-shop

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

paint-color-selector-tool

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.

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DIY Photo Coasters


March 14, 2012
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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.

travel-photo-coasters

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.

photo-coasters

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.

diy-photo-coaster

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.

diy-photo-coasters

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.

jersey-shore-photo-coasters

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

glass-photo-coasters

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

vintage-photo-coasters

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!

If you want to check out my other travel themed Pinterest projects, click on the images below:

 

And make sure you visit all of the other Pinterest challenge projects posted on Young House Love, Bower Power, Hi SugarPlum, and The Great Indoors!  Have you made any projects that were Pinterest inspired?

I'm also linking up to House of Hepworths and Delightful Order.

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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.

grow-green-onions

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.

growing-scallions

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

regrowing-green-onions

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

regrowing-scallions

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! 

growing-green-onions-in-water

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!)

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Earlier this week, I shared the new Kwikset SmartKey Deadbolt that I purchased.  Home security is very important of course, so I was happy to install a new deadbolt with top of the line safety features.



It was pretty easy to install this new lock.  First I unscrewed two screws from the back of our existing deadbolt. 



Here’s an important tip, make sure your deadbolt is in the unlocked position before unscrewing the front and back covers.  Trust me on this!  Otherwise you will spend a few minutes trapped in your own house trying to figure out how to open that deadbolt!  Once that little mishap was over, the back and front covers of the old lock were easily removed.



Then I removed the plate that was holding the old deadbolt in place, which allowed it to pop right off.



Once the old lock was removed, I started to install the new lock.  It went on in reverse order from how I removed it.  Make sure to measure the width of the hole in the door, as there were some additional pieces included in the lock that were dependent on the size of the hole in the door.



I won’t bore you with the rest of the installation steps because the instructions that came with the lock were pretty clear to read.  Certain parts even had instructions attached right to them.



The only tricky part was aligning the holes on the back and front of the lock and running long screws through them.  That took me a few tries, but I always have a problem with that part of the installation even when I work on interior doors. 

Now, I’m happy to say I have a top of the line lock protecting my door and my household (including that cute little pup who watched his Mommy the entire time she was installing the lock).

IMG_2739

I think I’ll sleep a little better knowing my place is locked up like Fort Knox and even Chuck Norris couldn’t get past my front door!  (Now I just need a fresh coat of paint on the door, my paint is pretty yucky).

If you’re interested in getting one of these locks for yourself, you’re in luck!  Kwikset and Home Depot are sponsoring a $50 gift card giveaway to the Home Depot!  All you have to do is leave a comment on my giveaway announcement post here.

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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. 

babys-breath-flowers

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

babys-breath-vase
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.

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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.

turquoise-mantle-clock

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!

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