This is the inside of a children's play area in our basement (full post on The Castle coming soon). It is a two-story castle with a trap door on the second floor. There is one small problem though, how do the kids get up to the second story with out climbing on the trim?
We considered building a ladder but that seemed like a lot of work and could take up a lot of space in this small area. I even bought an old aluminum pool ladder from ReStore for $2 but it stuck out quite far and ended up re-donating it. That is when I came up with the rock wall ladder. I had my own vision for the space and thankfully my husband went along with my crazy idea once again. We started at Home Depot (we like their lumber better) and went to their "project" lumber section. We found a piece of laminated pine that would need to Read more [...]
I love avocados! I even went to an elementary school that was named after an avocado, "Fuerte". That's what happens when you grow up in So.Cal. There are avocado farms all over the hills in San Diego. After making lots of guacamole, turkey sandwiches with avocado, and yummy salads topped with avocado, I thought I'd share a few tips for using these delicious treats of nature.
I always slice my avocado lengthwise then slide the halves apart. Then with a gentle squeeze pop out the seed. If the avocado is not perfectly ripe, strike it with a knife blade and turn it slightly, then lift up the knife and the seed will be attached. You can throw the seed away, or keep it and place it in the leftover guacamole to help preserve it's freshness (this is kind of a joke to me, since we NEVER have leftover guac!).
Whether Read more [...]
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I want to share an AWESOME website that I found recently. It's called:
They have the best fonts! You know I love a great font and graphic design and they have both. Once you become a FREE subscriber you can even download a bunch of FREE fonts to try out. (And don't worry, you won't get SPAMed for subscribing, I've checked them out, they are legit!)
Their Hand Shop pack is totally Burlap & Denim style. It gives you the look of a hand drawn sign using their fonts. In the past I have spent hours (seriously, hours) picking out the best fonts that go together and work for the project that I am working on. The great thing about FontsCafe is that they do the matching for you. So lets say you want to make a chalk board art piece that looks Read more [...]
It is almost Easter and nothing says Easter dessert like carrot cake. But this is not the dry icky carrot cake you pick up at the convenience store, nope! This is my grandma NorNor's carrot cake recipe. And it is moist, delicious and a piece of ...well cake to make! (excuse the lame joke, I couldn't help myself) You may be wondering about the "Cakette" reference in the title. Well, I have realized that I am completely incapable of making it in a bundt form. That was what the original recipe calls for, but after numberless fails at ANY type of bundt cake, I came up with this little "Cakette" gem that is a winner every time.
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup oil
2 1/2 cups grated carrots (I use about Read more [...]
Have you ever had a souvenir that you just Love? In 1994 I took a trip to Finland to visit my sister and her husband, a Finish native. Since we took the long trek there we decided to make a stop in Russia at the same time. While in St. Petersburg we picked up a souvenir or two. Mine was this adorable little Babushka or set of Russian nesting dolls (also referred to as Matryoshka dolls).
I remember seeing hundreds of designs, but this one really resonated with me. It is a small set, with only five dolls. And it has a traditional wood shape.
The bright fun colors that I was drawn to back then works perfect with my basement decor today. Don't you love it when things come together like that?
The clean simple paint is almost Swiss Chalet style. I haven't seen another like it.
I love my Read more [...]
Today I am sharing one of my favorite and most useful products. I was at a Parade of Homes show about 6 years ago when I saw it. It was an under the sink storage solution for curling irons, flat irons, and blow driers.
As we were leaving there was the inventor/salesman in the garage. I was sold and bought one on the spot. In my master bath, under my sink was wasted space. There was a dummy drawer front that was easily removed. After a few screws were installed (by me, thank you very much) the storage shelves were installed.
The product comes with all of the hardware necessary including hinges, and detailed instructions.
There are two spots for curling irons or flat irons (I actually shove two curling and one flat in mine).
The other side holds a large blow drier.
I love how these simple aftermarket Read more [...]
I've noticed a new trend lately that I first noticed in a Horchow catalog. It is their "Chinoiserie Dynasty" Chair. I think this chair is so adorable! I love the Asian print. It is young, bright, fun, and definitely not your grandmother's Asian chair. The shape is casual as is the 100% cotton fabric. I could create a whole room around this chair.
After a lot of research, I found this adorable wedding tablescape. The wedding designer Canvas and Canopy did an excellent job of keeping this an upbeat, fun, bright and beautiful wedding.
Photo Credit: Joie Lala, Event Credit: Canvas and Canopy
For a simple and easy way to add this fun Asian trend into your life is with this great wrapping paper from World Market. For just $2.99 you get a 21"X30" sheet. I'm thinking I could use it to cover coffee table Read more [...]
My sister and I created this funky girls room a few years back for a Parade of Homes house. We used all kinds of funky antiques mixed with new finds from Ikea, Urban Outfitters and TJ Maxx. The quilts below were heirlooms from the owners parents with a green and white damask throw from Urban Outfitters, layered on top.
The walls were painted a very pale blue and the carpet was a dark muddied green. We pumped up the color with hot pink and orange sherbert. The tree stencil below was from Urban Outfitters. A decorative bird-cage was packed with antique quilts with a bird perched atop the quilts. A 3d chandelier covered in scrapbook papers and adorned with a tiny colorful bird was hung in the alcove.
(Here is a close up of that chandelier in another space. Read more about it HERE)
Three light panes Read more [...]
This last weekend my third son Sam was baptized. It was a very sweet and exciting day for all of us. He couldn't wait to turn 8 and was beaming the entire day.
Since this is my third son's baptism, and I served in our Primary as the secretary for a few years, I have made pleanty of baptism programs. I thought I'd share this simple layout that you can print yourself.
I started out by having three programs to a single sheet of cardstock (or paper). I selected a simple image of Jesus and John the Baptist and fit it across the bottom. With a brown border and blue "Californian FB" font (which you probably already have) things are clean and focused on the baptism, not the child.
I printed them on my home ink jet printer on some pearl card stock that my mother in law gifted me. I love the soft iridescent shine Read more [...]
Alright, I'm going to be completely honest here, I am not a bacon fan...I know, shocking right? Who doesn't love bacon? This lady, that's who. Well, I am the only one in my family that doesn't adore the crispy greasy sizzilin' delight known as bacon. It actually stopped me from making bacon for years. I couldn't stand the mess of grease everywhere or the ever lasting linger of the cured smokey aroma. That was when I found all of the pins on Pinterest about baking your bacon. Perfect I thought! Until I tried it. It took a long time, it took a bunch of energy to heat up the oven, and never really came to the right consistency that my children and husband like. Then one day my husband volunteered to try cooking it on the BBQ. Brilliant! All the stink, grease, and mess stayed outside while the bacon cooked Read more [...]
Look at what my hubs found at COSTCO, yes, Costco! One box contained 5 square feet and cost $20 a box. That is a steal of deal, better than the big home improvement stores.
It is a light aqua sea glass in matte and shiny finish mixed with Carrera marble. Random lengths are attached parallel to one another with a mesh backing (the photo below shows the back side of the tile squares). One very important thing to note is that the glass tile has been painted on the back side of each piece. This makes it possible for a novice to install this tile (if the glass tile had been clear through the back like Oceanside tile, then any imperfections in the setting of the tile and the mastic are shown, even magnified).
So when we purchased this tile my husband knew exactly where he wanted to use it. Our basement bathroom Read more [...]
I know I say this a lot, but, this is one of my favorite projects of all time!!! It all started with a trip to ReStore. If you've never been to ReStore, you must go! It is a home improvement thrift store, just the description is dreamy, right? Anyway, this was out in the yard and I asked how much, $5 later and it was in my van, ready for its new home.
I used it this last Christmas as my tree stand and swooned every time I looked at it . I couldn't bare to put it back outside after Christmas so I decided to turn it into the diy coffee table I always knew it could be.
I started out with a trip to Home Depot and picked up a 1/2 sheet of plywood. It was a 4X4 sheet of pre-sanded plywood in the project section. No cutting and wasting, no giant pieces of plywood to shove in the van, just a small, concise piece that Read more [...]
I have a two story family room. I quite like it but, it has two giant blank walls on the upper story. During the summer I hang a SURF banner and at Christmas time a NOEL banner. Those banners out stay their welcome and linger for months because I haven't had a replacement for my Fall, Winter and Spring decor. Well not anymore. I just finished a giant un-stretched diy canvas art and I love it.
I was originally inspired by the ever fabulous Pottery Barn:
I may add the wood to the bottom and the top of mine as well, but for now, I had to put this up so I could take my NOEL down...yes, in February!
I started out by purchasing a drop cloth from Harbor Freight for around $15 (cheap and thin, perfect for this job). I cut it to the dimensions that would best fill the space. Then I drew a faint line with a pencil Read more [...]