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Stay Connected With The Latest Posts

Scout Cake

I just had to show a quick look at what we did for our Blue and Gold Scout Banquet. My little boy just entered into Cub Scouts and is having such a fun time. As part of the Blue and Gold Banquet, they are having a cake decorating contest. I quickly searched through Pinterest for some ideas to get us rolling. However, I have to give all the credit to Mr. Whitelane and our little guy. They took the idea I showed them to the next level.

They started with a simple chocolate cake mix from a box. The secret is to add a package of instant chocolate pudding, into the batter, to make the cake extra moist. They followed the directions according to the box except for that extra secret ingredient. When the cake came out, they wrapped it in foil and stuck it in the freezer overnight (makes it extra moist). The next day, they let the cake defrost and started decorating. The idea they saw here, gave the basis for their masterpiece. Don’t mind my poor quality photos. I didn’t plan on sharing this but it just turned out too cute! 

Mr. Whitelane and our little one got busy putting chocolate frosting across the top. Then they took white frosting to stick jumbo marshmallows around the outside layer of the cake. Next came the Fruit Roll-Ups for the campfire “flame.” It took some teamwork to hold the Fruit Roll-Ups in place, while the other stuck the pretzel rods in to hold up the “flame.”  This sweet little duo of guys in our house came up with the idea to use some extra pretzel rods for benches around the fire. They then sprinkled Reese’s Pieces around the fire (some crushed up). They also took mini marshmallows (roasted in a flame for an authentic look) and stuck them to toothpicks to place around the “fire.” Mr. Whitelane and our son could have stopped there. It looked great! But, they decided they needed to add some fishing with the campfire. Blue icing around the outside of the marshmallows served as the “water.” They tied a string to toothpicks (fishing poles) and placed Swedish fish in the “water.”

These guys of mine were the cutest team! I loved watching them make this together. Our son said he definitely thinks he will get first place (melt my heart!). Another fun scout cake idea goes down in the books. Hopefully, it will give you some ideas too!

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DIY Abstract Art

The following post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure here.

I have been working on projects for the nursery little by little. We just got the trim work I talked about in the previous postpainted this weekend. That wall is a simple beauty. I wanted something to hang on there just above the crib. Everything I looked at was very pricey and not exactly what I was looking for. I finally decided to try my hand at abstract art. If I can do it, anybody can! I am not exaggerating that by any means. My artistic ability is zero. Even my handwriting resembles a preschool work of art. When I finished this piece, I just had to share.

I needed the art to be large and around 24″x36″. I also wanted the piece to be framed which meant canvas was out of the picture. I went to Hobby Lobby to see what I could find. I came across this large cardboard poster for $6.99. It was different than regular poster board because it didn’t have a sheen on either side. Both sides of the board were a flat cardboard paper feel. Brass is another color I wanted to incorporate to the nursery. I grabbed some gold leaf paper too, in hopes to add some flecks into my art.  I used a 40% off coupon and went straight home to give it a try. I had some flat acrylic paint on hand in various colors. I really only wanted white and shades of pink. I also had a set of paint brushes in various sizes. I had no idea if any of them were the “right” type to use. I decided to use what I had and just go for it.

I started by dropping blobs of paint spaced a few inches apart onto my cardboard sheet. I used white, light pink, pink, and really all shades of light pink. I even took some red and lightened it with some white to make my own pink. Once I had a bunch of blobs spaced out across my board, I took my brush and spread the paint out. I did not mix them all together. I let them meet up with each other without running into the other color. I added more blobs where it needed in various colors. There really is no science. Just get creative. Don’t worry if your board seems to get saturated and bubble in spots. It will dry fine and it will only add texture to the backdrop. I let my first round dry and came back later to give it another look. I added a few more touch ups where I thought it could use some color. You can not mess it up because it is supposed to be abstract. I then took my gold leaf paper and some glue to add touches of gold. I broke off small random sizes of gold leaf. I put my glue stick on the poster in a small area where I wanted the gold and then pressed it down. I probably could have kept adding and tweaking, but you really just have to step back and call it good at some point.

The tricky part is finding a decent affordable frame at a 24″x36″ size. IKEA to the rescue with a frame in white and black for $17.99. I may even paint the frame a brassy gold eventually. I will decide as the nursery comes together. I took my DIY abstract art and put it in the white frame for now. I think it turned out decent considering my art skills and the price.

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Easy Ceiling Fan Makeover

The following post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure here.

Everyone has builder basic lighting in their house somewhere. Right!? If you don’t, count yourself as one of the lucky few. From dome lights to ceiling fans, I have had it all. Changing electrical fixtures can be really easy once you learn what to do from an expert. However, ceiling fans still make me nervous. It is a lot of work to switch one out (in my opinion). I decided to work with what I had to just give the fan an update without changing it out.

When we did my little girl’s big girl room, I decided to give spray painting the fan a try. I spray paint just about everything else. So, why not a ceiling fan? The ceiling fan was brushed nickel with dark fan blades. It may work for some styles. Not in this white house. The brushed nickel worked with the colors of my little one’s room. I just needed to lighten up the blades. I started by unscrewing the blades from the fan. Each blade had three screws and it was super easy to detach. 

I started by unscrewing the blades from the fan. Each blade had three screws and it was super easy to detach. You probably know the spray painting drill by now. Just in case you forgot, here is a quick video about the technique I use. Start with KILZ primer. This primer is the best primer and base layer for everything I paint. Wait for at least an hour for the primer to dry. If the surface is not as smooth as you like, sand with extra fine steel wool or 220 grit sand paper. Wipe off the blades from any sanding. Next, I took my Krylon white satin spray paint and gave it a nice even coat. I waited a day to let the blades fully cure before I brought them inside. I simply reattached the blades with the same screws as when I detached them. 

Let’s talk about the ugly wood pull chain. I could spray paint those too, I guess. I still did not think it would look much better. I went to Home Depot and picked up two acrylic diamond pull chains. The attached to the existing pull chain so easily. No more big brown eyesore.  These pull chains definitely added the extra girly glam the fan needed. 

I already had the spray paint on hand. I really only had to spend a few bucks on new pull chains. This is not a glamorous fan to rave about. However, It is an easy and cheap fix for the time being. It fits the style of the room so much better. There are another one of these fans in the nursery. I am currently working on giving it an update as well. Stay tuned for that reveal soon. Remember, spray paint can do wonders!

 

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Botanical Print Gallery

The following post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure here.

Once upon a time, I had a lot of plans for a new house. Then we moved into the house. The projects were everywhere. It took a lot longer to get them done than I thought. For instance, this gallery wall. I knew I wanted to hang a grouping of botanical prints in my front living room. However, It took me forever to find the right frames and actually hang them.

My front room looked like a blank canvas for a long time. I didn’t mind because I like clean and simple. Over time, I knew I had to get something on the walls. When I was working on my son’s Star Wars room, I came across Home James Art. She had the perfect patent prints for his bedroom. When I came to pick them up, Jo also has some lovely botanical prints. I knew they were perfect for my front room.

I now had the perfect prints and no frames. I started to look everywhere for something brass or gold. I needed six of the frames. Everything was getting really pricey and over budget. I then decided I would have to find something in any color and just spray paint them. IKEA always has affordable frames. I wanted the frame to be thinner and dainty for an elegant look. I found these in black and knew I could make them work. The best part of all, they were only $4.99 each. Yes, those are pumpkins on the table all the way back from the fall (told you this took forever to complete). Those are also my super trendy mom leopard house shoes. Be jealous people, be very jealous of this mom uniform.

When I got them home, I went straight to priming the frames with my KILZ primer. You can see my full spray painting tutorial here. I made sure to let them dry for a couple hours. Then, I used my favorite brass spray paint. I have used this color all over my house. It really is the perfect brassy gold color. 

I put my new botanical prints back in the frames, once they had dried. Then, I sat them on the couch, right below where they would be hung. That is where they sat for months, months people! I don’t know why I never got around to hanging them sooner. They were done enough and I had a million other things to do, apparently. 

Then my son got his tonsils out. I was home playing nurse for weeks. In between taking care of him, I was finally able to get these hung. I guess the trick is being stuck inside, for days at a time, to get anything done around here. I really like how they look, especially for the price. No more blank wall in this room. However, the other side of this room still needs chairs and a rug. I hope to show you more at the Joyful Spring Home Tour in March!

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Last Minute Gift Ideas

The following post contains affiliate links.

Christmas is in less than two weeks. I am still working on getting a few final gifts. However, I got most of my shopping done before Black Friday. I thought I would put together a list of last-minute gift ideas that include a few of my go-to gifts.

You can never go wrong with a pedicure or massage for the ladies in your life. Some people think it is impersonal and not very thoughtful. Are you kidding me? I would take pedicure or massage any day and twice on Sunday. Come on! Trust me, it is the perfect relaxing gift for the ladies in your life. In fact, my toes look scary right now. Santa- I need a pedicure!

My next last-minute gift is movie tickets. Who doesn’t love the movies? Every time Mr. Whitelane and I go, it seems to get more expensive. It is always nice to have a gift card or tickets to use. It makes a great date night for couples. If you want to go the extra mile, wrap the tickets up with a refillable mug from the theater and some candy.

Have you heard of the Dollar Shave Club? It is seriously so cool. You can get your first set of razors for just $1. That includes 4 cartridges and a handle that ships all free. After that first month, it is only a few bucks a month. You can cancel or pause your service at any time. This is not just for men. Ladies shave too. You can pick which blade you like best along with any grooming products as well. It is all delivered to your front door each month.

I have talked about Hello Fresh before and have used their services many times. I think it is so convenient and I love not having to think about meal planning. You pick how many people are in your family along with vegan or meat options. Hello Fresh then sends you meals for as many days as you chose that week. No measuring or shopping. Everything delivered cold in pre- measured packages to your front door. All you do is follow the included recipe with the ingredients provided. We have really liked every meal. Some meals are stuff we would never have tried and ended up loving. The best part is that we have the recipe to make it again anytime we want. Dinner delivered to your front door with fresh ingredients? Sounds like a great gift to me!

Finally, I think Amazon Echo makes a great gift for anyone in your life. Echo connects to the Alexa Voice Service to provide a wide variety of hands-free operations. This device can play music, read news, tell you the weather, sports scores, read audio books and much more. It can even be programmed to adjust lights in your house as well as thermostats. Turn any house into a smart house. I really want one for myself! Santa, if you are reading this…

Hopefully, this gives you some ideas for those last minute gifts on your list. Now hurry and get to shopping before Santa comes!

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Easy Updates

The following post contains affiliate links.

A lot of people want to know the easiest way to update their house without spending a lot of money. I am going to let you in on a little secret. Paint and light fixtures. You would be surprised how much these two simple fixes can change the look of a room.

Although we built a new house, we chose to leave some things builder basic. Two of those things were the bathroom light fixtures and ceiling fans. I knew I wanted to swap them out after we moved in. The builder did not have an option that I loved. I also knew I could find some cheaper options after we got into the house. I like to look online for sales as well as local lighting stores. If you change your address through the local post office (or online), you can sign up for coupons to be sent to your new address or email. Home Depot or Lowe’s are always one of those coupons (along with a lot of other good coupons). I was able to use my coupon at Lowe’s to get some simple inexpensive vanity lights for our master bathroom. I am not an electrician and I do not recommend trying to change a light fixture without professional help. However, I have been changing light fixtures in our houses since we got married (after a lot of coaching from an expert). I am so glad I learned the proper way to change electrical fixtures. It has saved us a lot of money and made a big design impact.

 

I also found these ceiling fans to put in all the bedrooms and living areas. Ceiling fans are a little harder to swap out. However, I think it is well worth the time and work. This ceiling fan totally transformed my son’s room. The builder basic fans were not cutting it in our house. I love how this swap made such a big impact. Most of the time, you can sell the old fans or lights on a local yardsale page or Craigslist. It is a better option than throwing them out. You can also make a little money to put towards the new fixtures.

We left the builder basic lights on the front of our garage too. I knew I wanted some goose neck farm lights for the garage. I searched and searched for a good deal and finally came across these. I really like the new look it gave the front of our garage. Again, easy swap with a big impact. 

Paint, paint, paint. True story: one time we bought a house and painted the entire inside. We had a painting party and invited our friends and family. We provided all the paint, rollers, and lots of food. It was a little bit of sweat equity but a lot of fun with everyone helping. Anybody can paint and you will be so happy once you step back and see the change. I am telling you, I have brought back so many outdated rooms and furniture pieces with a can of paint (or spray paint).

I have found paint and light fixtures go a long way in making a big change. Both can be done relatively inexpensive. If you can shop around for a good deal (or use a coupon) on the light fixtures, that will save even more. Also, don’t forget to sell your old fixtures. Sherwin Williams also has a 50% off paint sale a few times a year. Try to plan your projects around this sale. It will save a lot of money too. Anybody can make these two big impact changes.

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