January 30, 2014

Sweetest Pin - Easy Valentine's Craft for the Kiddos

Everyone has Valentine's Day on the mind.  I have seen so many cute ideas on Pinterest.  Trying to figure out what to do for your child's class party?

This cute idea by Alpha Mom is creative, inexpensive and you probably have the materials already at your house.

I bought red pipe cleaners for Christmas, and never used them.  Now I have a use for them!  I stock up on pencils at the dollar spot at Target.  My kids love pencils, and they are great party favors.  She includes the printable on her blog.

I also love that these are not candy.  I don't know about your kids, but mine get super hyper by just a couple of pieces of candy.

What do you think?  Are you working on any crafty Valentine's Day décor, cards, etc?  I would love for you to share!

Did you see last week's the Sweetest Pin- I love these paper Chevron Garlands by My Sister's Suitcase.

January 27, 2014

10 Colorful Kitchen Ideas & Remodeling Tips

I was so inspired by the following beautiful kitchen and dining spaces, that I had to share them with you!  I love introducing color in my home.  The following kitchens have beautiful, crisp white walls, cabinets and furniture accented with fabulous jewel tones.   

These are all items that can easily be achieved, without breaking the bank.  By just updating a few simple things, you can make a huge impact.

Disclosure, I never used to be a fan of white cabinets. They are now my favorite- I love how neutral and light they are now.  Our new house has them, I will be sharing my home with you soon!

At the end, see below for my kitchen remodeling tips.  Things to think about prior to renovating your kitchen and pulling out the pocket book!

Kitchen / / dining..
Nicety Live Journal

I love the clean lines, paired with the rustic furniture 
and decor in the space.  
I love the blue wall paired with deep pink light fixture.

The Design Files

Simple, clean colors and lines with a simple addition 
of aqua barstools.  Get tired of the colors of the stools?  It is so simple and cost effective to switch them out later.  Or better yet, just repaint them with a fun new color!

Lovely warm accents set against the clean, white kitchen.  The mixed chairs add character and charm.

For Interieur

Lovely accents of pillows and table accessories brighten up the simple, white palette.

Midwest Living

I love these barstools and this color set against the white cabinets and amazing carrera marble counters!  I also love how the accessories tie it all together.  I think I need these barstools in my kitchen!

Better Homes and Gardens - Home Beautiful

Fun pop of color with barstools.  Can't decide on a color, 
buy one of each of your favorite colors!

Caught in Grace

A lovely and colorful buffet in the kitchen.  What a fun and cost effective alternative from kitchen cabinets.  
I love this color set against the white brick walls.

House Beautiful

This green island looks like a furniture piece, and provides a stunning accent in this kitchen.  The bold pattern on the ceiling makes this space unique.  
The decor and accessories tie it all nicely together.

Country Living

Retro touches in this kitchen make it so cheery and fun.

Barbara quasescarlet

Colorful color pops make this otherwise 
plain and simple kitchen, shine.

Tips Before you Renovate your Kitchen

1. Kitchen remodeling is one of the best things you can do to improve your home's resale value.

2.  You can expect to recoup 90%-98% of your investment on the sale of your home.  The higher number is based 
on low budget remodels.  
No need to spend a ton of money updating.

3. I love color, but making your kitchen cabinets a unique, bold color might hurt your resale value.

4.  Instead, select accessories, furniture and decor with fun, bold colors.  These are easy to chance as tastes change, and make it much easier to resale your home.

5.  If you still want colored cabinets, keep it to the island or lighting, etc.  Keep the rest of the kitchen neutral, like the white as shown in all of the images above.

6.  Kitchen remodeling does take time, and is disruptive to every day life.  Plan to eat out, or make microwave meals for awhile.  Take a deep breath and remember 
it is all worth it in the end!

What is your favorite kitchen?  Have you remodeled your kitchen?  I would love to hear your thoughts!

Linking Up!

January 23, 2014

Sweetest Pin - Chevron Valentine's Day decor

I have seen some beautiful Valentine's ideas - and I love this beautiful chevron decor by My Sister's Suitcase.

See their fabulous and easy tutorial to make a statement to your decor.  Did I mention how gorgeous yet simple this is? I can never resist ombre.

How are you decorating for Valentine's Day?

Thanks for stopping by!

January 21, 2014

My January Mantle

My January Mantle

I have been having fun decorating my fireplace mantle. Since this is the first time I have had a fireplace, I have realized how fun it is to decorate it!

How do you decorate for January?  What colors best fit cold weather (ok it was 80 degrees yesterday, here in Phoenix) and no major holiday.

My Christmas decor was silver and cream.  Here is my Winter Mantle.  I am still in love with the silver, and I decided to tie in a blue color, keeping some of the silver elements.  I think the colors are perfect for January.

I started with my Great-grandmother's vintage table runner. I just love the blues, greens and browns in the table runner. I draped it across the top, since I don't have a distinctive mantle.

I added my Great-grandmother's vintage blue vase.  I pulled some tan berries (that I used for my fall decor) to tie in the runner with the rest of the decor.

Before I had a fireplace, I had no idea how much fireplace tools are.  I fell in love with this Tool Set from Crate & Barrell.  But, for $199, it wasn't in the budget.  I kept my eye out at many different stores, but either didn't like the style or price tag.


I was thrilled to find some great deals.  I went to my local antique stores and Goodwill in search, and score I found some great deals!

I would love to hear your thoughts.  Have you found some great deals lately?  Where is your favorite place to find deals?

Linking Up!

Tater Tots & Jello
Classy Clutter

Too Much Time On My Hands

January 17, 2014

Around the World Party - My Daughter's 8th Birthday

Around the World Party - My daughter's 8th Birthday!

I love coming up with themed parties for my daughter's birthday parties.  For the last several years my oldest daughter has helped me select her party themes.  It is fun to come with ideas together.
I am not quite sure how we came about the "Around the World Party" theme, but we had so much fun coming up with ideas!
First, my daughter selected Japan as the first country to travel to.  We came up with two more (to slightly simplify it).  Mexico and Italy were the second and third countries we selected to travel to.

The invites by Less Ordinary Designs on Etsy, set the tone for the party. 

Our new house was a perfect setting to having the party hosted at our home.  Our first home was tiny, but this has a much more open floor plan and huge yard to play in!
When the guests arrived, they were greeted by a Welcome sign in different languages.
Guests arrived at the Passport Office.  The kids decorated and filled out their personal  Passports that I purchased at Oriental Trading Company.  Passport Stickers (also purchased from Oriental Trading Company) were given at each country station, to add to their passports. 

Compass rings were provided so they could find their way.
Once all guests arrived, and passports were complete they were ready for their journey.  To eliminate overcrowding, I asked the kids to split between the three countries.

This was the kids favorite country to visit.  My mom helped in Japan.  She borrowed a komono from a friend for the occasion.

Our house has a little guest house, and it was the perfect traditional style Japanese house!

See the resemblance?  (I didn't realize it was so close in style!)
Food/Activity: Make your own sushi
rice krispie treats
fruit roll ups
Swedish fish gummy fruit
(I ran out of time- but was going to also make banana slices, rolled in peanut butter with chocolate rice krispies.  Serving them on sticks which according to my cousin who lived in Japan for a couple of years, is very Japanese.)
Activity: Right certain words in Japanese.  I wrote a few words, and provided paper and pencils for the kids.

Décor -  I used a pink tablecloth from another party, purchased sushi mats at Cost Plus, red paper lanterns suspended from the ceiling ,and I found the cute Asian kite from Cost Plus on clearance.  I found some fun Japanese images on line that I printed for authentic pictures on the walls.  Also, red balloons topped off this room. 

My mother-in-law borrowed a festive Mexican dress from a friend.  She also brought some cute décor.  I played up the fun festive colors of Mexico in my kitchen and family room.

Activity - Luminarias, piñata


I wavered on this until the night before, and finally decided on making luminarias.  I bought colorful tissue paper.  I didn't think the boys would enjoy making paper flowers so with what I had on hand I thought this would be a fun and easy activity.  My mother-in-law helped the kids come up with ideas.

Piñata - Perfect way to tie in the Mexican theme.  I purchased clearance Halloween candy, since my daughter's birthday is only a couple of weeks after to fill the piñata.

Festive colors set the tone for Mexico.


Red and White check tablecloths set the tone for a festive Italian setting.  Curly pasta was a fun and inexpensive way to decorate. I brought in a picture from the kitchen for decoration.  Italy was out on the back porch.  I separated each country - kitchen/family room, back porch, guest house to make the kids feel they truly were traveling to separate countries.


Activities- Make  a cup and ball game, Pasta Relay

Food- Italian Cookies, olives

When the kids arrived to Italy, they made an easy game- a cup and ball game.  The kids made these from items I already on hand.
Paper cup, ribbon and aluminum foil.

I precut squares of aluminum foil.  I let the kids cut the length of ribbon (this increased the difficulty) they crumpled up the aluminum foil (to form the ball) and taped the ribbon on the paper cups.  The trick is to get the ball in the cup.  The craft was easy, but getting the ball in the cup was a challenge!

For a great inexpensive game, the kids played Pasta Relay.  I purchased egg noodles, and wooden spoons (Dollar store) for the party.  The kids divided into 4 teams, of 4 kids each.  The first member of the team took a scoop of noodles on their wooden spoons, passed it to the next member of the team, and so on.  The last kid filled a large jar.  The team who filled the jar first, won.  I don't have any pictures of this because it was a fast paced game!  The kids had a great time.  The grass lawn was filled with pasta afterwards.  :)

My sister helped in Italy, wearing green to keep it simple.  I brought out my patriotic décor, for easy décor.

I purchased the cutest little flag airplane cupcake toppers from Granny Panty Designs on Etsy.  They set the tone perfectly.

A large mounted map was a present from my grandmother.  It was a great backdrop!

 I made a small cake for my daughter, decorated with individual countries flags.  It is the same pan I bought for her first birthday.  Now she is eight! 
(Sniff, sniff.  How quick they grow!)

 A satisfied customer!  Notice the hot air balloons on her shirt. 
I loved how it went with the Around the World theme. 

Party Favors: A tidbit from each country was included in the favor bags. 
- A flag pencil and globe erasers
- additional passport stickers
- chopsticks tied with red ribbon
- Mexican gum "chicle"
-Mexican bobbing head animals
(My dad traveled to Rocky Point, Mexico a few weeks before and purchased 20 animals from a little boy on the beach.  They were a hit, and it made the little boys day!)
Plus, the loot from the pinata.
I would love to hear from you!  What are your favorite details from the party?


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