Friday, December 18, 2009

12 Days of Cookies - Day 1 - Gingerbread Cookies

These made an appearance at Georgette and Chuck's Christmas gathering. It was here that I was endlessly ridiculed and tormented for my couponing.....I'm planning a get even post....stay tuned.

1 1/2 sticks lightly salted butter, softened
1 2/3 cups sugar
1 orange, zested
The dry ingredients:
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1/2 cup additional for rolling, if needed
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground dry ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup dark molasses
1 lemon, juiced
Easy Orange Frosting, recipe follows

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, add the butter, sugar and orange zest and beat until smooth, 5 to 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, dry ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Whisk to blend. Set aside.
In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, molasses and lemon juice.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

When the butter and sugar are integrated, lower the speed of the mixer and add the dry ingredients. Add the egg mixture and when blended, remove the bowl from the machine. Divide the cookie dough in half. Press the first half of the dough in between 2 sheets of waxed paper or plastic wrap and chill for 15 minutes. Repeat with the second half. This step will make it easier to finish rolling out the dough when it has chilled. It will also mean you only have half of the dough getting warm as you roll it.

Lightly flour a flat surface. Use a floured rolling pin to gently roll the first half of the dough about 1/2-inch thick. Lightly flour the cookie cutter(s) and cut the shapes, making as few scraps as possible. Use a metal spatula to gently transfer them, cookie by cookie, (the cookies should be similar size) to a baking sheet. Repeat with the other half of the dough and transfer them to another baking sheet. A note about crowding the tray(s): these particular cookies can spread a little. Leave room between the cookies. Better to use 3 baking sheets with fewer cookies than to crowd them on 2 trays. Bake until brown around the edges, 8 to 10 minutes.

Got scraps? Form the scraps into a ball, press it flat and chill in the refrigerator. These cookies may be a little more "tough" because the dough will have been worked a little more than the others.

Easy Orange Frosting:
1 cup powdered sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
1 to 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 teaspoon orange liqueur
1/4 teaspoon light corn syrup
In a medium bowl add all of the ingredients and whisk together to combine. If too thick in consistency, add a touch more orange juice or water to thin out.

Lessons Learned -
- cold dough is key - less likely to stick to the rolling pin
other than that it was a pretty basic recipe. and yummy!

Sunday, December 13, 2009


So I've been couponing for about 4 months (Go ahead, make fun of me Lonnie and James!) and I usually count on sites such as Macomb Money Savers and Hip2Save to tell me the deals but today, ladies and gentlemen I discovered and matched up my very first deal!!!!!

Here we go -
Toys R Us has Connect 4 on sale for $7.99
They are offering a $3.00 rebate which brings the price to $4.00
Go here and print a $5.00 off Connect 4 coupon
Final price - FREE!

According to the fine print, the rebates are available at the stores!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

12 Days of Cookies - Day 6

The second batch of cookies that I made for Capri's Christmas party.

Citrus Trio Butter Dipping Cookies

1 cup unsalted butter, cool but not straight from the fridge
4 ounces cream cheese, cool but not straight from the fridge
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Dash salt
Finely grated zest from 1 lime
Finely grated zest from 1 orange
Finely grated zest from 1 lemon


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Add the butter, cream cheese, sugar and vanilla to the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until creamy, about 1 minute.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. On the lowest speed, gradually add the flour mixture into the butter mixture, just until blended. Divide the batter into 3 bowls, and gently stir in the different zests among the bowls, making 3 citrus flavored batters.

Scrape each batter into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch tip, or a sturdy plastic bag with the corner snipped off. Pipe 2-inch long strips, about 2 inches apart, on a cold unlined baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until golden brown. Repeat with the other batches.

Remove from the oven, and let cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before removing with a spatula to cool completely on baking rack. Serve with tea or coffee, or just nibble...addictive!

Cook's Note: To butter cookie purists: these are also delicious without the zest!

Lessons Learned

1. The recipe has changed since I made these. Instead of the pastry bag, I rolled them out like a rope and sliced them into pieces rather than piping them. Your choice.

2. These would be amazing dipped in coffee!

3. Another kitchen gadget I came to love after this recipe - Microplane grater/zester!

12 Days of Cookies - Day 5

Every year Food Network releases their 12 Days of Cookies newsletter. Every year, I am crazy enough to make them - ALL of them. I have a big, 3 sided family and now being married adds more sides so we have a lot of family Christmases. Add in getting together with friends, work parties and now baby showers (YAY Alyce and Dave!) it means I have to come up with a lot of dishes to bring. I found myself stressing about it until last year. I made up all of the cookies ahead of time and whenever I had a party to attend I would just pull out my platter and load it up with various cookies - AND DONE! The glitch to that system was living in an apartment made it really hard to store dozens of a dozen types of cookies. This year, even though we are in a house, I haven't had an entire day to devote to baking so I'm making them 2 at a time. My parent's hosted their annual Capri Bakery Christmas party for all of their employees on December 6th and that was the kickoff for the holiday season. I didn't go in order with these cookies so if the days don't make sense, you know why.

Cinnamon Spiced Hot Chocolate Cookies

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened Mexican cocoa powder (or subsitute by adding 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon to unsweetened cocoa powder)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3 tablespoons sweet butter, at room temperature
3 tablespoons margarine
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Generous pinch ground black pepper
Generous pinch cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg white
1/2 cup dulce de leche, optional
1/4 cup almonds, finely chopped, optional

Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Mix thoroughly with a whisk and set aside. Combine the sugars in a small bowl and mix well with your fingers pressing out any lumps. (Combine in a food processor if lumps are stubborn.)

In a medium mixing bowl, using a hand mixer, beat the butter and margarine until creamy. Add sugar mixture, cinnamon, peppers, and vanilla. Beat on high speed for about 1 minute. Beat in the egg white and until the mixture is smooth. Stop the mixer. Add the flour mixture, beating on the lowest speed, just until incorporated.

Gather the dough together with your hands and form it into a neat log, 9 to 10 inches long by 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap in waxed paper or plastic wrap. Fold or twist ends of the paper without pinching or flatting the log. Refrigerate at least 45 minutes, or until needed.

Put the oven racks in the upper and lower third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

Use a sharp knife to slice rounds of chilled dough, a scant 1/4-inch thick. Arrange the cookies, 1-inch apart, on the prepared baking sheets. Bake 12 to 14 minutes. Rotate the baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back about halfway through. Cookies will puff and crackle on top, and then begin to settle down slightly when done.

Remove the baking sheets from the oven and use a metal spatula to transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool. Allow the cookies to cool completely before storing or stacking. Store in an airtight container up to 2 weeks, or freeze up to 2 months.

To spice things up, after the cookies are baked, let them cool on a wire rack, drizzle with dulce de leche and sprinkle chopped almonds on top.

Lessons Learned

I totally copied and pasted this recipe because I didn't feel like typing it out. Just putting that out there. However, here's what I learned when doing this.

1. It pays to have better tools! Last year, I was rocking dull knives and borrowed my mom's older stand mixer plus all my other stuff was college leftovers. Thanks to everyone who blessed us with amazing wedding gifts this past year, I have much better baking tools and it makes life easier! I am IN LOVE with my Kitchenaid and Nick was laughing at me as I talked to my knives and thanked them for staying so sharp.

2. Dulce de Leche - pretty much caramel.

3. These cookies were delish!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Product Review

I was somehow able to talk my AMAZING hubby into shopping with me on Black Friday. In keeping with his amazingness (yes it's a word - even if I made it up) he stood in line at Old Navy for me while I shopped around. That line lasted an hour and a half. See - amazing! Anyway, while I was shopping around, I found these slippers for half off. Down to 2.50 from 5.00. I wear them EVERY SINGLE NIGHT and absolutely love them. I am about to head back and pay *gasp* full price because they are so wonderful. They still allow your feet to breathe, which is my complaint about socks but they aren't as obnoxious as some of the slippers I've been seen sporting in my past.

ps - Old Navy paid me nada for this post. They didn't even throw in the slippers for free. I just love them that much that I had to share the news.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Christmas Centerpiece

Inspired by my couponing and general "I'm tired of spending money" attitude lately, I decided to hold off on purchasing most of my Christmas decorations for the house until after Christmas. I'm just gonna make due with what I have. By the way, what I have is a bunch of random decorations I've accumulated over the years - nothing matches, no complete sets. Needless to say, it's made decorating this year a little challenging. I still managed, however to put together a centerpiece.

Cost breakdown

bowl (it's red, you just can't see it) - previous life - FREE

green garland - previous life - FREE

candle and holder - wedding - FREE

red garland - Target - $5.99

Not too shabby, right?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Halloween Dinner

This is the final installment of our Halloween themed meals. These were fantastic. The cheese in the meatballs was amazing!

Dinner Menu
Spaghetti and Oozing Eyeballs


2lb ground beef

1pkg stuffing mix for chicken

1 c. water

2 eggs

1 jar spaghetti sauce

4 sticks of string cheese, cut into quarters

black olive slices

1 pkg spaghetti


1. Heat oven to 375

2. Mix meat, stuffing mix, water,eggs and 1/4c of spaghetti sauce. Shape into 16 meatballs. Insert 1 cheese piece into top of each meatball, with end of cheese piece just showing at top. Place on baking sheet. Top each with olive slice to resemble eyeball.

3. Bake 20-25 minutes or until meatballs are done. Meanwhile, cook spaghetti and heat remaining spaghetti sauce as directed on package and jar.

4. Drain spaghetti and serve topped with meatballs and sauce.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Halloween Lunch

apple bites
carrot-finger food
spider crackers
pizza mummies

I was excited to put together a themed lunch but still have quite a few healthy options. Plus Ben loved the novelty of the carrots and apples so he ate them all, quickly. This is a MAJOR deal in our house.

Apple Ingredients
slivered almonds
Apple Instructions
1. Quarter and core an apple. Cut a wedge from the SKIN SIDE of each quarter.
2. Press the slivered almonds in place for teeth. This is tricker than it seems. I only ended up with 2-3 apples at the end.
Carrot Ingredients
veggie dip
sliced almonds
Carrot Instructions
1. Fill a serving bowl with the veggie dip.
2. Wash and peel the carrots. Cut them to the appropriate size based on which finger they represent. Cut a flat, shallow notch in the tip of each carrot. Use a dab of the dip like glue and attach a sliced almond fingernail atop each notch.
3. Stick the fingers in the dip and serve with other carrots on the side.
Cracker Ingredients
ritz crackers
peanut butter
pretzel sticks
Halloween sprinkles
Cracker Instructions
1. Spread half of the crackers with peanut butter. Cover with the second cracker for the spider's body.
2. Insert 8 pretzel sticks into the peanut butter layer of each sandwich for the legs.
3. Spread more peanut butter on top and decorate with sprinkles.
Pizza Ingredients
english muffins
pizza sauce
black olives - sliced
string cheese sticks
Pizza Instructions
1. Heat oven to 350.
2. Toast the english muffins and then spread pizza sauce on them.
3. Set olives in place for the yes.
4. Lay strips of string cheese across the muffin for the mummy's wrappings.
5. Bake for about 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the muffin is toasty.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Halloween Breakfast

I decided to go overboard for Halloween this year and themed all of our meals. Ben decided breakfast was his favorite but Nick and I were fans of dinner. Featured first:

on the menu:

Pancake Ghosts
Breakfast Sausage Mummies
Slime Juice

please ignore the Sponge Bob plate. I've since learned it's better to photograph food on a plain plate.

Pancake Ingredients
pancake mix
funnel-tipped condiment bottle - ie: ketchup bottles at restaurants
chocolate chips - frozen
powdered sugar

Pancake Instructions
1. Mix your batter according to the batter instructions.
2. Once mixed, fill the condiment bottle with the mix. It helps to first transfer the batter to a measuring cup with a spout. The purpose of the condiment bottle is to allow you to "draw" a ghost shape on the griddle.
3. Place 2 chocolate chips on the griddle (frozen helps keep them from melting) Using these as guidelines for the eyes, draw the rest of the ghost with the batter.
4. Flip once bubbly. Give it another minute or so and repeat.
5. Sift powdered sugar over top before serving.
Sausage Ingredients
breakfast sausage links
puff pastry sheets
yellow mustard
Sausage Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 400. On a floured surface, roll out one sheet of puff pastry until it's half the original thickness and about double in size.
2. Use a pizza cutter and slice the dough into 1/2 inch wide strips
3. Using a pastry brush, lightly wet one side of each strip with ice water. This will help the pastry strips stick to each other as you roll them.
4. With the wet side of the dough facing out, wrap a strip around each sausage. As you get near the top, leave a gap in the pastry for the mummy's eyes. I would suggest leaving a bigger space than you originally think is necessary. I ended up not having much room for the eyes.
5. Repeat until you're done.
6. Place the mummies, face side up on a lined baking sheet. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until golden brown.
7. Remove from oven and allow them to cool for about 3 min. To make the eyes, dip the end of a chopstick into a dab of mustard and dot them on.
Juice Ingredients
orange juice concentrate (country style - must have pulp)
blue kool-aid mix
Juice Instructions
1. Mix all ingredients together. Add sugar to taste.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Bathroom Reveal - FINALLY

Our bathroom is done!.....almost. We need to install the closet door but THEN it's done. However, it's done enough to show pictures. Here's the before:

Keep in mind - when I say this bathroom was pink I am NOT kidding. It had pink tile EVERYWHERE! See what I'm talking about.....

(I wasn't even aware people tiled their countertops like that)

I think you get the point.

Now to the after......

Please excuse the foggy window. Nick just showered. Obviously, we still need blinds. What you are seeing here is a brand new floor, all new drywall - the tile removal process pretty much destroyed the walls, a new vanity, new shower (that was tiled pink as well), new rug and shower curtain, new toilet paper holder. Pretty much all new.

We bought the vanity from Home Depot (I'm hiding my head in shame) and the top from Lowe's. New mirror, hand towel holder, faucet and light fixture.

Here's a better look at the vanity. I absolutely L-O-V-E it!

AND Nick found a use for the frames from our wedding cardbox. Once he took it apart we added a couple wedding pictures and hung them on the wall.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Free Movie November 11th!

Donate 5 canned goods at a participating MJR Theatre on November 11th and see the movie of YOUR choice for FREE!! Offer good on November 11th from 4pm - 10pm.

Donations benefit Gleaners Food Bank. If you donate Kroger canned goods, Kroger will match the donation.

Participating theatres: Brighton, Chesterfield, Clinton Township, Southfield, Sterling Heights, or Waterford

source: Macomb Money Savers

Monday, November 2, 2009


I took a coupon class from Laura, The Sharp Scissors Lady a few months ago and it has definitely paid off! I've started gathering my coupons and slowly started stockpiling some items. I made a trip to Super Kroger in Howell today and hit the jackpot!

My total was $110.77


The cashier started scanning my coupons.....

GRAND TOTAL = $25.49

The guy behind me said "wow! That's impressive. Is today some crazy coupon day?" Nope, just everyday at Super Kroger!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Day of Birthdays Part 2

We ended up having Ben's party on Nick's birthday so we just had to continue the festivities. After we wrapped up at The Hands on Museum we headed back to our house. My family and Nick's met us there for some Capri Bakery pepperoni rolls and more cake.

Caleb sat on the couch with Henry for awhile watching football

Then Scott and Charley joined in

I just had to include this picture....

Nick's Heath Bar cake....if enough people ask, I'll blog the recipe next ;)

Opening presents!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Day of Birthdays Part 1

(it took me awhile but here it is, Alyce)
Ben opted for The Hands On Museum as the party location. He made a great choice. We have a membership so we were able to get a discount on the party. They did just about everything. We were responsible for food and beverages. EVERYTHING else was supplied by the museum....right down to the goodie bags. Check out the party.........

12:30pm - Nick and I arrived to "setup". Really this involved dropping off our pop and cake. I then went to the lobby to greet our guests while Nick hung back in the room to greet the kids when they got to the room. Our party helper, Jennie had set up some crayons and paper for the kids to color while they waited.

1:00pm - Official party start time! We ate some pizza and Jennie led the kids in a project of Ben's choosing. His choices were make your own volcano and erupt it, make your own slime or build rockets and launch them. His choice......

The volcano, of course!

1:30pm - We began our guided tour of the museum. We visited 6 different rooms and had 10 minutes in each room. This was, by far the best part of the party! The adults were able to chat and the kids ran wild, perhaps learning a little something along the way!

2:30pm - We got back to the room and sang Happy Birthday! While I cut the cake, Nick supervised Ben opening his gifts. Another perk - Jennie wrote down who gave what gift for me! It was awesome!

3:15ish - The kids ate their cake and called it a day. Jennie helped load a cart and took it to our car for us. We loaded up the presents and headed home to continue our birthday party celebrations.......STAY TUNED

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Ben's 7th Birthday Cake

I've done a Lego, Indiana Jones and now I attempted a robot. He decided to have his party at The Hands on Museum and it couldn't have turned out better. I would highly recommend them! Anyway, onto the's a Betty Crocker recipe.

1 box of cake mix - make according to package directions and bake in a 13x9 pan
container of frosting
Black food color
Blue food color
2 colorful licorice twists (7 inch)
2 large black gumdrops - I used DOTS, couldn't find gumdrops
2 soft fruit ring candies
2 blue m&ms

3 pull-apart red (cherry) licorice twists
20 m&ms - any color
1 roll Fruit by the Foot® (any variety from 4.5-oz box)
6 thin chocolate wafer cookies - I used chocolate covered graham crackers

Tint frosting with black and blue food colors to make desired gray color. Using serrated knife, cut rounded top off cake to level surface; place cake cut side down. Cut cake as shown. On tray, arrange cake pieces as shown in template, attaching to tray with small amount of frosting. To “crumb-coat” cake, spread thin layer of frosting over top and sides to seal in crumbs. Refrigerate or freeze cake 30 to 60 minutes.

Frost entire cake with remaining frosting. Cut 1 colorful licorice twist into 2 (1-inch) pieces. Carefully insert licorice pieces between head and body.

Cut remaining colorful licorice twist in half. Using scissors, make several cuts in 1 end of each licorice piece to form antennae. Insert licorice pieces, antennae ends up, in top of head. Insert gumdrops into sides of head for ears. Arrange fruit rings on head for eyes; use 2 blue m&ms for pupils. Separate 1 pull-apart red licorice twist into single strands. Trim 1 strand to 3 inches; place on head for mouth. Use remaining strands to decorate base of robot as desired, trimming to fit.

Tie a knot in each remaining pull-apart red licorice twist. Insert knotted licorice twists in each side of body for arms. To decorate robot body, arrange 20 m&ms in desired pattern on body. Use fruit snack to form border around candy design, trimming to fit. For wheels, insert chocolate wafer cookies in base of cake.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Harvest Moon Macaroni

I was craving some serious comfort food and bored at work. The the internet for new recipes. I found this one on Food Network, courtesy of Rachael Ray. The critics (Nick and Ben) gave 2 thumbs up! I couldn't find frozen butternut squash so I bought a fresh one and baked it before using. I chopped it but I would suggest mashing it for a smoother texture.

1 lb macaroni (I used penne)
2 TBSP olive oil
1 onion - finely chopped
3 garlic cloves - finely chopped
2 TBSP fresh thyme - finely chopped (I used dried and just used less)
3 TBSP butter
3 TBSP flour
1 c. chicken stock
1 1/2 c. whole milk (I used low fat buttermilk to keep the creaminess but lessen the fat content)
salt and pepper
10 oz box frozen butternut squash - defrosted
hot sauce
1 c. grated Parmesan
1 c. extra sharp yellow chedder (I bought a block and grated it myself)
1 tsp sweet paprika

Bring water to a boil. Season with salt and cook macaroni to al dente

Preheat broiler and place rack in middle of the oven

Heat the oil in a sauce pot over medium heat, saute onions and garlic until soft - 6-7 min and stir in the thyme

Scoot onions off to side of pan and melt butter, whisk flour into butter and combind whisk 1 minute then whisk in stock and milk, season sauce with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Cook until thickened, about 3-4 minutes

Stir in butternut squash and a few dashes of hot sauce. Reduce heat. When sauce comes to a bubble, stir in parmesan. Combine the sauce and macaroni, transfer to a casserole dish and top with shredded yellow chedder, parsley and paprika. Brown the macaroni under broiler - 4-5 minutes until brown and bubbly.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Fairy Doors

We (I) are (am) constantly trying to come up with creative things to do with Ben that don't cost a ton of money. I somehow stumbled across Fairy Doors and decided it was an interesting and better yet FREE activity for us on a Thursday night. Please checkout the website for more details but the basic idea is these doors started popping up all over Ann Arbor a few years back. You would never notice them but once you know where they are, they are the cutest little things! I made a map of downtown and used it as an opportunity to teach Ben so basic map reading skills and he thought the whole night was "awesome"

This is a fairy ticket window right below the actual ticket window at The Ark There are actual tickets inside and if you look around the corner, you can see the entrance to the ticket box.

Move farther down the street and you find a Goblin Door. There's bird droppings and garbage all over it. Ben decided this was his favorite door.

Head inside Sweetwaters Cafe and you will find a fairy door with their own miniture coffee house. Adorable!

This door was outside Peaceable Kingdom. If you go inside you can see a scene from the fairy's own store but they were closed so we'll have to do it another time.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Ben's First Football Game

We took Ben to his first UofM football game on September 26th. He loved it! And we won!

Enjoying some nachos during halftime
Caleb and his friends showing Ben how to pose

At the game

Go Blue!

(We just aren't going to talk about what happened last weekend)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Hippie Hash Browns

If you have ever been to Fleetwood Diner in Ann Arbor you have probably tried their Hippie Hash Browns. In honor of Ben's first UofM football game, we decided to try our hand at making this delicious dish! Please keep in mind, measurements are totally approximate and cooking instructions are completely random. They turned out yummy but can't compare to Fleetwood's version. We will however, be trying again.

I started by shredding 6ish potatoes in my new food processor (thank you Grandma!). I heated some oil, added chopped onion and garlic. Sauteed for awhile. Once the potatoes were shredded, I added them to the pan and started frying. I found that the potatoes take a looooong time to cook if you do them all at once. I would recommend breaking it into portion sizes and cooking one at a time. Leave them one on side until cooked to your liking. Flip and cook again.

Remember the peppers from the Fall Decor post? Well here they are, all diced up. My bowl looks a little empty, but it's a small price to pay for good food. We used about 4ish peppers. Add oil to a separate pan and saute the peppers until they are tender. Add broccoli as well and really any other veggie you prefer.

Once everything is done cooking, serve the potatoes layered with the veggies and some feta cheese. I am telling you, the feta makes the dish! We ate them with some eggs and toast.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fall Decor

Inspired by all the other blogs featuring their fall decor, I decided to do the same! I've decided I don't want to pay full price for holiday decorations so I'm making do with what I've collected over the years and only adding a few pieces. Once each season/holiday passes, I will hit the clearance racks for next year!

This whole centerpiece is new!

pumpkins - $0.79 ea. - Walmart (plus 2 more that Ziggy ate)

placemat - $2.00 - Walmart

lantern - $14.00 - JcPenney - marked down from $80 (my MIL would be so proud)

candle - $4.99 - Home Goods

Total = $25.73

Nothing new here! Just rummaged through my GIGANTIC box of candles and switched out the old ones for some new fall inspired candles. Kept everything else the same

Total = FREE!

Again, nothing new. I have had the bowl for a few years and decided to go with nature's decorations.
Added bonus - my brother found an AMAZING produce market in Dearborn - all those peppers cost a whopping $5.00!

Total = $5.00

I swapped out the sticks for some fall inspired colors. The candle was from my stash!
Total = $5.99 for the sticks

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Bouquet Painting

So after the wedding I couldn't bear to just throw away my bouquet. I also find dried flowers to just be dust collecters. I then stumbled across Grand Jour Events.

We apparently share the same anniversary so I was able to snag a discount on my very own bouquet painting. I gave her the colors I wanted before redoing our bedroom but turns out, I planned it out somewhere in my head, because it works!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Master Bedroom Transformation

When we moved into the house we decided to use a lot of my decor items from the apartment and the master bedroom was no exception. We knew we'd be registering for a new comforter set and I just didn't feel like being creative with the room in the midst of wedding planning. Now that the wedding is over, we are slowly redoing the rooms in our house. Master bedroom was the first we tackled.

If you need a reminder of the before:

Here's the after:

We changed out the candles hanging above the bed but kept the sconces. We changed the bedspread and added valences. Some of the decorations are the same and others have been changed.

I switched out the lamp base but kept the shade. We also changed the knobs on the closet to match the knobs on the furniture. Nick still has to build himself a closet on the right but in the meantime I covered the space with a curtain and a tension rod. It works for now.

I love live plants but generally am terrible at keeping them alive and the cats try to eat them. I bought these from IKEA and figure if one of the above 2 things happen, I'm not out that much money. So far, so good. I also am having a heck of a time finding the lamp I want. I want a tall lamp that I can put a lampshade on....IMPOSSIBLE. All lamps built for a shade are not THAT tall, and all the tall lamps are built for the sconce things. I found this one for 8 bucks at IKEA and figured it works for now. I hate the cord hanging down the whole dang thing. I also am looking for a compact chair to put in front of the lamp since that corner is a little empty now.

Also I am getting a painting done of my bouquet and it is in the same colors as our bedroom. I am planning on putting that in there as well.