Monday, May 27, 2013

Organizing on a Dime

Garage Sale Find-$3
I was told this is from "The Land of Nod".

Lately I have been on an organizing spree.  I was recently able to pass on several of my boys' baby things which got me kicked in to gear for an organizing clean out.

I will be back with another post on the full clean out results, but for now I wanted to share some really budget friendly things I found for organizing my oldest son's closet.

Pictured above is a closet organizer found at a recent neighborhood garage sale.  This fun guy only cost me $3.  I was going to offer less, but the lady selling this told me it was from "The Land of Nod", Crate & Barrel's children's line, and she seemed unwilling to budge on price.  As you can see, this is great for toys, crayons, slippers/shoes, you name it.  I love the child-like drawings on the pockets and the bright colors.

My second find was some plastic bins from "Dollar Tree".  Yes that is right, "Dollar Tree" has some really cute plastic bins that are perfect for organizing play hats, toys,  and whatever else you can think of.

Whose says organizing a closet can't be fun, good cheap fun? 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Rain Showers Call for Cut Flowers

This week has been filled with scattered thunder showers.  My peonies and irises haven't been able to take the heavy rains. 

I decided to salvage what was left for some in-house flower arranging.  Twice this week I have been able to enjoy fresh-cut table arrangements.

I love this perk of owning a home and being able to grow your own flowers.  Has anyone else been salvaging blooms from the rain?

Saturday, May 18, 2013

A Pallet for Planting

I am over the moon excited about the pallet planter my husband made with a little help from our boys.  I am one lucky wife/mother.  A couple of days ago we found this nicely weathered pallet on the curb waiting for the trash truck.  We picked it up and in no time my husband turned it into the swanky planter you see above.

First he cut the pallet into two pieces, then he used the boards on the "material" half of the pallet as the base/bottom for the shelves on the "finished" half.  Once the final boards were hammered into place, he anchored the vertical pallet planter (with a 2'x4') to the side of the steps which lead to our deck.  The last step was to line the shelves with "weed fabric" and potting soil, which you can find in the garden department of any home improvement store.

I plan to start vegetable seeds in the top shelf and add some more flowering plants (probably some trailing ones), but here is what it looks like now.

Vinca Flowers

Adding some Miracle Grow Potting Mix
to the Weed Fabric Lined Shelves
Here are some more Pallet Projects that I found on Pinterest:




Wow, the possibilities within a pallet.  Has anyone else "up cycled" a pallet into something lately?

Have a wonderful weekend,

Monday, May 13, 2013

Love it for less, Installment One

 Tucker Bend Bench from Lowes
I thought I would start another new series of posts.  In addition to the "Fab Finds" installments I started back in April (see here) I thought I would share some good "second best" products that are much more reasonably priced than the original design that caught my eye.

I have been a long time admirer of this chair from "West Elm". 

Montauk Nest Chair by West Elm
I love the structure and texture of the Montauk Nest chair, but the $679 price tag is out of my reach.  I think this may be the reason I am so excited  about the Tucker Bend bench from Lowes, which is just $65.

Mind you the Montauk Nest chair is much larger in scale, but the Tucker Bend bench is still very substantial. 

You are welcome to check out theTucker Bend bench, along with some other fun outdoor ideas that I have been collecting in my Pinterest board, here.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Yummy Applesauce Chocolate Chip Cookies

Lately I have been looking for ways to "tweak" recipes to make them a bit healthier.  Mind you, I don't think you can really make cookies healthy, but in an effort to make a classic treat a tad more friendly I made the following changes to the classic Nestle Toll House recipe.  First I swapped the sugar for applesauce.  I also used "dark" chocolate instead of milk chocolate chips.  Everything I read suggests that dark chocolate is better for your health. Lastly, I prefer Crisco's "butter flavored" shortening to real butter (just for taste and texture).


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup Crisco Butter flavored shortening
  • 3/4 cup applesauce
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) Dark Chocolate Chips


PREHEAT oven to 375° F.

COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, applesauce, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in dark chocolate chips. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
The applesauce makes the cookies a lot "fluffier" but they are still very tasty.  I know the shortening, flour, and brown sugar are still on the "dark" side of healthy but I guess every little switch helps when trying to watch what you eat.

Has anyone else tweaked a classic recipe to be a bit healthier recently?

Saturday, May 4, 2013

And they're off!

In honor of today's Kentucky Derby, I thought I would share a couple of my photos from our trip a couple of weeks ago to the horse races at "Keeneland" track just outside of Lexington, KY. Keeneland race track is beautiful and rich in history. The grounds, the Grandstand, and the stables are all incredibly beautiful.  You can learn all about the track and races by clicking on their website, here.

General Admission to Keeneland is only $5 for adults and children under 12 get in free.  The crowd varies from the very well dressed elite horse fans to the more casually dressed admirers like my family.

For those looking to catch up on all the top contenders in this year's Kentucky derby you can click on the leader board, here.

Throwing a party and interested in making a mint julep to celebrate this year's derby?  If so, you can get the official "Early Times" recipe by clicking on the derby website, here.
Source: Churchill Downs website, link below

Lastly,  want to check out this year's Derby hat collection?  You can see several styles here.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Textile Art

In my never ending quest for unique and cheap art to fill the walls of our home, I stumbled upon yet another nifty idea.  I bought a frame/mat combo recently at Michaels that was on sale for $9.  After being inspired by an easy art project on the super creative blog "Nalle's House",check out that blog post here, I decided to re-purpose something I already had on hand into art.  I had some left over fabric from making a headboard a couple years back.  The left over roll of material was just taking up room in my closet.  I took the fabric out an decided to put it in my new frame for some easy textile art.  This fabric is by the Momentum Textile Group and is called "Telegram, color: Chocolate".  You can check out all of the fabric details by clicking here.

Slowly but surely, the walls of the house are starting to get filled, which makes it feel more like home.

Here is a picture of the space before the art (area to right of bookcase and left of laundry room door).

Here is the space now (sorry this is a different view, but it hard to get pictures in this room without a lot of glare).

Have you framed anything unusual lately?  I would love to hear about it.