Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fantel (Fall + Mantel) 2011

So... it's Fall! I did take the big boys to the beach this weekend and for the first time ever I let us get sunburned (oops!)... but no matter the temps... it's time for FALL! Last time I left you all with the Summer Mantel (finally).

Been sort of a slow-but-sure process around here lately... but the mantel is decorated! I participated in my first fantel party last year and made sure I got myself up & going (seriously lacking motivation lately) to do it again this year :) YAY fun! If visiting from the linky party... big Hello :) Just try to ignore the window over the fireplace. Simply explanation... it's a direct vent gas fireplace & the builder thought this was cool I guess ;) So, here it is:



This year I was trying for more green in the mix. I love fall colors don't get me wrong... but it's not really any of the colors I use in my house. So I wanted it to blend a bit more. Plus it's still in the 90's here... so green is still a part of fall in these parts! As always, the budget was very minimal. Some of these Pinterest pins were my inspiration...

Fall pumpkins in lanterns  glass vase, pumpkins and branches



White and green fall decorations love the green gourds.  These would be cute in a basket on the bathroom counter for fall...

I added my Lantern steals from Lowe's... topped off above with my Teardrop Yarn Wreath.





As always, I love have stuff out for the kiddos too. It helps make the holidays more real to them... not to mention fun! (and in looking at these pics I think I need a small rug to toss over the hearth for the pot o'toys to set on. hmmmmm.....)



After Halloween I'll remove some of the decor... I'm going to try to pull off a more elegant fall mantel for November, since I HAVE to have the fun stuff for the boys up there! They love it!



Happy Fall! Come back and visit soon!

The Lettered Cottage

Monday, September 26, 2011

My take on a Yarn Wreath

Yarn wreaths are all the craze this fall! They're cozy and can be very personalized to how you like!

Here's a neat pic of some from Pinterest...


I also saw this wreath "trick" on Pinterest (click on picture for more info)...

(looking back I realize I made mine too big and I need to check out another hardware store for a cheaper foam version like used in this blog post instead of settling for the more expensive one at Lowes... but it was still cheaper than buying a $6-$8 foam or hay wreath base)

So off to Lowes I went. Didn't get quite the same deal.. but we actually need some of this stuff to cover our outside water line that has gotten hacked away by the weed whacker over 2 years. So since it was about $5 I'll say about $3 for the project... $2 for home improvement ;)



I followed the directions... cut it & duck taped!



Then I got some yarn... I rifled through the Hobby Lobby clearance bin until I found a good one (355 yards for $2.39). It's neither green or brown... somewhere in between... not much of a high demand color ;) Then started wrapping... wrap, pull taunt, and keep the yarn tight together... this went on while Jake played some wii before bed, then while Jake brushed his teeth, then the last hour of The Green Hornet that I watched with Greg (we couldn't finish it on Friday night - we're such 'parents' ie TIRED).





This morning I jazzed it up (code speak for dug out all my crap & had fun/burnt my fingers with the hot glue gun!) and hung it up over the mantel (stay tuned for the mantel tomorrow... I'll be linking up to my first linky party in 6 months!).



Some ribbon here, some twine there, a little of this & that. I was able to use some T-Shirt remnants from when I hosted my "Make Tshirt Necklaces Moms Night In" to make the rosettes. The metal leaves are from a halloween decor that have fallen off a million times... I decided to just use them for something else!



So I've decided to call mine a teardrop yarn wreath. Like most things I try, it doesn't try out exactly "right", but still okay! Tying it up and having those rosettes on the bottom/side sort of distorted the shape.

But all in all I say thumbs up!






Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Take a peek at this cutie!

Here's Mr. Lukey (as big bros like to call him)! Three months old!









Taken by my friend Jennifer, go check her out, especially if you're local! She was so sweet to do a mini-fundraiser in honor of our baby Grant (Luke's twin that passed 6 weeks ago).


Monday, September 19, 2011

Jump Rope Kid's Art Display

With Jake in school now, he brings home ton of cool things each Thursday. Time to display them! There are a couple things on my fridge (and IF you really know me, you'll know that having ANYTHING on my fridge is really hard for me... even if it's my kids stuff!) and I'd like to have another place to display stuff.

So I scoured Pinterest for lots of ideas...

art display  Art Display for the Hallway

art display to display art

My friend Ellie just did this in her playroom (click on picture to view her post).



I finally found one that used jump ropes! Sidenote: Oh how I wish we had this board & batten wall... swoon!



How fun! I liked it! Finding jump ropes was a thorn in my side... you'd think it'd be super easy. Nope, not at all, I couldn't believe it. Finally found some at the dollar store! I would really of loved some good ole vintage-y wooden handled white roped ones... but I made due with these...


The handles are rather distracting and they're very colorful. But hey, it's a playroom and the boys favorite colors (Jake's is green and Evan's is yellow)!

I took down the posters that used to be up in this area.



Then put the jump ropes up securing ends by knotting around thumbtacks. We may need to swap out for nails, but for now with just light paper it's okay.


Not exactly how it looked in my mind, but most my projects never do! I just need to paint the clothespins blue and I think I'll really like it. Truth be told we probably just need a different wall paint color... but it stays as is for now. Maybe I just need both to be green jump ropes, but pretty sure Evan would be sad that his favorite color wasn't being represented! ;)


After taking these pics I realized how cluttered the top of the storage system was (oops! But hey, it's been a long summer!). I tried to spruce up a bit, but the whole room needs a major re-organization...so stay tuned for that! ;)

In other news... I'm going to have to start doing more stuff with Evan during the day... because he totally noticed he only had his "Rr" worksheet clipped up there from when he was doing school work like big brother! Oh and it was asked how he's doing with potty training... well, he's doing totally awesome!! Go Ev!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

National Play-Doh Day!

National Play-Doh Day was yesterday! I had no clue... thank goodness I'm "friends" with "Real Simple" magazine on facebook. When they posted that, I knew exactly what we would be doing after naptime.

I have a confession. I fondly remember how much fun play-doh was as a kid... but I really didn't like MY kids playing with it. It's SUCH a mess. ALWAYS gets ground into the carpet, and you're finding pieces of dried play-doh for-evvvvvvvver ;) Yes, yes, I KNOW... it should be about THEM not ME.

I decided to have them stand on their stools at the kitchen cabinet. I'm pleased to say it worked out nicely. Granite is a great surface for play-doh. When it fell on the tile floor, I just waited until it was dried and swept it up... much easier. The boys had a FAB time... especially Evan. Poor guy I think I've only had it out ONE other time for him. He loved it. He was playing with it long after big brother Jake abandoned it.



I even let him mix the colors (that was hard to smile through, but I did!). Talk about throwing caution to the wind and really living life! ;)

I WILL be much better and make sure it comes out much more often!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tuesday Tasty Tidbit!

I wanted to recommend & pass on a recipe! Ramen Noodle Coleslaw! Say what? Ramen noodles?? YEP! Read on...

Over a year ago my friend brought this as a dish to our house. It was so yummy, I was sure to bug her to get the recipe. Last year when we were up north for 5 weeks during the fall I made it for our family Halloween party and it was a hit too! This is not your plain ole mayo based coleslaw. I made it the last two weekends and I think while coleslaw can make you think of summer... it's a nice fall-ish dish, especially if you use red cabbage for the color & zing!

(my small amount I had left to eat for lunch yesterday)

There's a lot of variations of it online... I like this one from allrecipes.com. However BIG CHANGES: I don't bake it AND I add some frozen/fresh peas to it (until it looks right). It's still very similar and yummy! Everyone in the fam will eat it from the kid, to the toddler... to the big picky 32 yr old daddy ;)

Ingredients:


2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 (3 ounce) package chicken flavored ramen noodles, crushed, seasoning packet reserved
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/2 medium head cabbage, shredded (I use part red cabbage and part green)
5 green onions, chopped

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, sugar, ramen noodle spice mix, salt and pepper to create a dressing.

Place sesame seeds and almonds in a single layer on a medium baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven 10 minutes, or until lightly brown.

In a large salad bowl, combine the cabbage, green onions and crushed ramen noodles. Pour dressing over the cabbage, and toss to coat evenly. Top with toasted sesame seeds and almonds.

Ingredients


2 tablespoons vegetable oil 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar 2 tablespoons white sugar 1 (3 ounce) package chicken flavored ramen noodles, crushed, seasoning packet reserved 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper 2 tablespoons sesame seeds 1/4 cup sliced almonds 1/2 medium head cabbage, shredded 5 green onions, chopped

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, sugar, ramen noodle spice mix, salt and pepper to create a dressing.

Place sesame seeds and almonds in a single layer on a medium baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven 10 minutes, or until lightly brown.

In a large salad bowl, combine the cabbage, green onions and crushed ramen noodles. Pour dressing over the cabbage, and toss to coat evenly. Top with toasted sesame seeds and almonds.

Hmmm... Now I'm hungry! :)



Sunday, September 11, 2011

I *heart* NY (9.11.11)

September 11th... I don't feel qualified as a speaker or a writer to talk much about today. I remember this time so well. I had just moved to Atlanta, didn't even have a job yet. Spent the next few days completely GLUED to the TV in horror, sadness, hopelessness & hope, and overcome by patriotic feelings. I can't believe it's been 10 years.

I wanted to wear my I *heart* NY shirt today.

I've never liked how the shirt fit, it felt boxy and tight around the neck. Lately, I've joined the ranks of pinterest addicition (come follow me, I'll follow you!) and have been seeing small easy ways to change your shirts... one being simply to cut off the collar and hems. These unisex type shirts just really don't make for a very flattering or feminine fit/look. Figured this would be a great shirt to try it out on!







Wearing today with pride (and with a better fit/look). Will never forget.


These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat.
But they have failed; our country is strong.
President George W. Bush

September 14, 2001

Monday, September 5, 2011

Be still... the rise above & move on...

I've gone on before about how I'm pretty much like an 80 year old bird watcher. I don't just like to watch them, but I think they're telling us things sometimes.

There's been some hummingbirds visiting us. I've always just seen them fluttering around, take a quick sip, and flit away. Well, we've got a guy that will just sit and hang out... for almost 30 minutes once. I think it's because it's so hot, the feeder is in a shady spot with a breeze.





Last time I examined all my feathered friends last year, I found out:
When the hummingbird visits it's to remind.... to restore balance & health; find joy in what we do; to be fiercely independent & revel in our freedom; create joy within our home: and to get regular deep sleep & rest as to not burn out. Main message is to find the miracle of joyful living from your own life circumstances (pretty deep for such a little bird!)."Tireless Joy & the Nectar of Life"
 
Wow. Like my own personal little messenger, right? After such a stressful summer, I do believe he's trying to tell us something... HEY... DO YOU SEE WHAT I'M TRYING TO TELL YOU?? For me it's time to see through the horrible summer and remember the miracle and find joy in our life even when grief threatens to shut it out.
 
A new one for me... is the Swallow.
 

 
Swallows remind me of my childhood home. Seeing them out at dusk catching insects and building their mud nest near our home. Makes me warm, cozy, and lighthearted. However this summer, I never saw a single one :( Except right before we headed home after burying baby Grant. We literally were on the airport exit ramp off the interstate... it swooped down in a dive did a little wing waggle then curved back up and out of sight. It was nice to smile for the first time out of whimsy and see beyond my personal fog. Thank you little Swallow.
 
It is said that if a Swallow has shown up it is when you are allowing yourself to rehash old issues and problems and not move on. It's an indication you need some perspective. Rise above it and move on. Objectivity is key. By keeping your objectivity you will be able to easily protect your home and add greater warmth to your life and to the lives of those you touch.
 
I haven't had time to research it's message until now. Pretty powerful when combined with the timing... very interesting. Just had to share.