Small living room furniture challenges

We have a small living room with some big challenges in it.  So many times, we’ve grabbed magazines or searched online for help decorating “difficult” spaces or small spaces and what we find is – well, not the same as our definition of small. It’s frustrating.  We have my parents’ old (they’d had it for 2-3 years before my mom died and dad gave it to us) living room furniture, and while it’s great furniture, super comfortable and excellent quality, it’s way too big for the room and it’s just. not.working.

small-living-room-furniture-challenges

Here are some photos so you can see just what our obstacles are.  Doorways, windows, radiators and a fireplace with surrounding gate all team up to give me a headache when trying to make something work in this room! As it is now, all 5 of us can’t sit together and watch a movie together unless we move furniture around or pile on top of one another.

living-room-before-front-doorway

 

This is the first doorway into the living room.  Notice how the couch is at the edge of the doorway.  The fish tank may or may not stay where it is.

living-room-doorways-before

 

That’s the one wall we have that’s kind of usable.  See how big the couch is?  It’s enormous for the room.  (Also super comfortable).

living-room-before-bay

The back of the room is the “play area” — you can see the “bumpy floor” as we call it and the 923432432 Lego blocks and creations around.  Also the fireplace gate.  There’s just no space for the pieces we have and I’m ready for something more functional and also more deliberate.

living-room-before-tv

Here’s the view from the bumpy floor.  See how messy the room is?  We’re human! My house is NOT perfect.  You can also see just how the furniture does not fit in the space and how much we need help.

 

The nice folks at Raymour & Flanigan  agreed that our small living room was a challenge, and gave us a really big surprise.  They came up with not one, not two but 3 different options for the space! There IS hope for small living room furniture challenge rooms like our own!

 

Option 1:Option 2 Ashton

 

Option 1 Photo (Note the blue tape- those are from our measurements of our living room). This option is lovely but maybe too  formal for our house with 3 little ones running around.

Option 2 Ashton Photo A

 

Option 2:

Option 3 Meyer Choice BoardI love the pieces in this layout.  The colors and lines are so pretty!

Option 3:

Option 1 Artemis IIOption 3 Photo:

Option 1 Artemis II Photo A

So I am curious- which of the 3 concepts would you choose for this space?  Which do you think we’re going to go by?

 

 

Many, many thanks to Raymour & Flanigan for sponsoring today’s post and the gift card to make our new living room possible.  We’ll be sharing the “after” in a few weeks!

How to Make Business Cards in PicMonkey

I don’t know about you but I am very tired of paying for a design for my business cards.  I wanted to learn how to make  business cards in PicMonkey and my friend Sadie agreed to show me. :) It’s really not hard!

How to Make Business Cards in PicMonkey

The process of making business cards in PicMonkey is suuuper simple. It’s just a few basic steps, and then you play around with different fonts and such until you get them exactly how you want them. First, you need to sign up for PicMonkey if you haven’t already. It’s a few bucks a month, and totally worth it.

How to Make Business Cards in PicMonkey

To start, you’ll need to upload custom fonts to PicMonkey so you are using the ones that match your blog. Though I didn’t use the same exact fonts on my cards that I do on my blog, I used ones that I thought complimented each other. It’s totally up to you on how you do stuff! Adding fonts to PicMonkey is pretty easy- you  just need to download the fonts you like from sites, install them on your computer, then reboot and log back in.  You’ll see your pretty new fonts and be able to use them!

How to Make Business Cards in PicMonkey

After you’ve decided on your fonts (or gotten distracted and downloaded 100 of them), restart your computer and log into PicMonkey. Choose “design”, then you’ll choose your dimensions.

Or, you can download a business card template for free. You can choose a colored background if you are in the “design” section. If not, just use a rectangle overlay to choose a color. I prefer white.

How to Make Business Cards in PicMonkey

Go to overlays (the butterfly button), and upload your header and/or headshot. I really like it when I see business cards with a photo on them, because it’s easier for me to remember when I meet someone!

How to Make Business Cards in PicMonkey

Add your information below the header. If you don’t have a header, just use a custom font to type your name, blog name, or business name.

Some things that are important to include:

— first and last name
— blog and/or business name
— email address
— social media handles
— website address
— any other info you’d like people to know

Make Business Cards in PicMonkey

I’d probably make these double-sided and have some more information about myself on the back. Think of it as a mini “about me” page.
Check out how to make birthday invitations in PicMonkey too!

Have you made business cards? Leave your tips in the comments!

Button Crafts – Cloth Napkins With Button Fruit Details

I love buttons and I love making button crafts!  Vintage buttons, fancy buttons, wooden buttons, and even shirt buttons!  Button crafts are so much fun to make and so affordable.  These adorable cloth napkins with button fruit details are so sweet and inexpensive.  These are just shirt buttons in various colors.  You could really make a lot of different fruits or even vegetables with this idea and just have a lot of fun with ideas!

Button Crafts – Cloth Napkins With Button Fruit Details

button-craft-button-fruit-cloth-napkins

Supplies:

  • set of 4 cloth napkins – I picked these up at Wal-Mart for less than $2
  • shirt buttons in the colors of your chosen fruits – we have grapes, lemons, an apple, and cherries.
  • thread to match your buttons (Have some fun with this if you prefer!)
  • green embroidery thread for stitching the leaves and stems on (I used a thread with varying shades of green for more detail)
  • needle (I always use the easy-to-thread needles because I’m not getting any younger and threading a needle is never, not once, a simple process for me. Needles like to fight me on threading every time!)
  • scissors

Instructions:

I laundered my napkins before beginning.  The buttons will be sewn on so you can launder them after if you’d rather (and of course so you can wash them after use).

button_lemon_close_up

Begin by sewing the buttons onto the corner of each napkin as I did in my example.  You’ll want to use thread to match the buttons so the thread doesn’t stand out.

button_apple_close_up

Use very simple stitches to add stems and leaves with the green embroidery thread.  I did not worry about the backs looking perfect but focused on how the leaves and stems turned out.

button_cherry_close_up

Here’s the bunch of grapes on a napkin, what do you think?

button_grapes_close_up

 

 Are you into crafting? Have you done button crafts lately?

 

 

 

Homemade Eczema Cream Recipe

Two of my kids have eczema. I have it myself on and off.  It’s itchy and uncomfortable.  We have tried a lot of products to help get some relief, but none seem to have a magical solution.  I decided to try to make my homemade eczema cream recently, and have been quite pleased with the results.  It works quite well, and especially for my son, he likes that there’s not a girlie scent to the cream I made.

Homemade Eczema Cream

homemade-eczema-cream-recipe

First, you’ll want to gather your ingredients.

Coconut oil (Organic is preferred)

Tea Tree essential oil

Lavender essential oil

Mixer

Container for your cream.  We had some Altoid tins that were almost empty so I just used one of those.  You can also purchase containers, but chances are that you have one in the house already that will do the job!)

diy-eczema-cream

 

Directions:

Put 1/4 cup coconut oil into mixer  with whisk

Add 3-4 drops Lavender essential oil

Add 5-6 drops Tea Tree essential oil

homemade-eczema-cream-whipped

Beat ingredients together until well blended (about 75-90 seconds) on low-medium speed

Spoon cream into container

Use as needed!

 

I help my four year old to apply this eczema remedy most of the time, but my 6 year old can usually apply it himself. I help with areas he can’t reach. I like knowing exactly what we’re putting onto their skin!

Homemade Eczema Cream Recipe
 
Homemade eczema remedy
Author:
Recipe type: Remedies
Ingredients
  • Coconut oil (Organic is preferred)
  • Tea Tree essential oil
  • Lavender essential oil
  • Mixer
  • Container for your cream. We had some Altoid tins that were almost empty so I just used one of those. You can also purchase containers, but chances are that you have one in the house already that will do the job!)
Instructions
  1. Put ¼ cup coconut oil into mixer with whisk
  2. Add 3-4 drops Lavender essential oil
  3. Add 5-6 drops Tea Tree essential oil
  4. Beat ingredients together until well blended (about 75-90 seconds) on low-medium speed
  5. Spoon cream into container
  6. Use as needed

 

 

Must Have Fairy Gardens Accessories

Must Have Fairy Gardens Accessories

 Must Have Fairy Garden Accessories

Fairy Gardens are an easy way to bring whimsy and fun into your garden this year. With these gardens you can grow gardens on a miniature scale or just add fairy accents throughout your full-sized gardens. A fairy garden is perfect if you are gardening in a small space or want a little something fun to accent your container garden.

When it comes to accessories, there are thousands of different items you can find for your fairy garden. There are accessories that range from adorable housesand huts to a miniature vegetable garden complete with teeny tiny trowels and pots. These are way too cute!

fairy gardens accessories

fairy gardens accessories

A good walking path ending in a place to picnic is a great addition to a fairy garden. There are even little tea sets or picnic baskets complete with miniature wine bottles for your fairy garden. Another great accessory are all the water features that are available. There are workable water fountains that can attract butterflies and birds to your fairy garden. You can also build in a water feature like a pond or a watermill and bring your fairy garden to life. If you don’t want to build the pond, here is one you can purchase that is ready to install!

fairy gardens accessories

The key to a beautiful fairy garden is to keep the accessories surrounding a theme. There are so many choices to choose from that it is easy to buy everything and see how it all works together. If you can, decide what you want your fairies to experience first – whether it is their own garden or if they are going to have a quiet place to relax on a patch of moss grass. Once you decide your theme, even if the specific color palette you are trying to achieve, you can help save your pocketbook from going crazy with buying fairy garden accessories. Believe me, it is so easy to do.

Just look at how cute these accessories would be in a butterfly fairy garden!

fairy gardens accessories

Or this adorable butterfly bird bath.

fairy gardens accessories

Enjoy creating a wonderful space for your fairies and get lost in a world of imagination right in your own backyard garden.

Do you love fairy gardens too? Tell your friends! [Tweet “Check out these fab fairy garden accessories! http://bit.ly/fairygardens.”]

Printable Preschool Chore Chart

My little one is allllllllllllllllllllllmost reading. She’s so close. She’s just not there.  But my little one, she’s a helper kid, and loves having a list of things to do just like her mama.  She’s also a big fan of crossing things off that list.  The apple didn’t go far…..

Anyway, I decided to go into Publisher on Office 365 and see if I could come up with some kind of printable preschool chore chart for my little one that can help her to have her own to-do list, but also have visual cues with the written words to help practice the reading. Our friends at Lunchbox had asked if I could share a little bit about how easy Office 365 is to use and I thought this would be a fun, simple project to do just that.

I was actually really (pleasantly) surprised at how much I could DO with the Publisher program (because usually I pester friends to walk me through it and/or beg them to help) all by my lonesome.

Making this Chore Chart was not so hard.

I made the title and started creating my chores.

printable-preschool-chore-chart-screenshot

Then I added in some clip art.  I think you can go simple like me or get crazy and add photos from your house.  That would mean you are less lazy than I am. :)

preschool chore chart in progress

That’s it.  We are going to be printing this and laminating it so it lasts longer.  Easy, peasy. I wonder if I can get the WHOLE family to follow chore charts?

Preschool-chore-Chart-printable

You can download this Preschool-chore-Chart-printable-pdf file to print and save for your house free right here!
Over the weekend, I was talking to my niece and her fiance about how I loved their save the date cards, and they were happy to tell me they used Publisher to create them!!  Aren’t they fabulous? The happy couple is big into running and I thought these were the perfect save the dates for them.

publisher-save-dates

 

You can find Office 365 at Walmart.com.  It’s available for your laptop, desktop, tablet and/or phone, and can be purchased for a PC or MAC device.

office365 personal

 

I want to make some fun cards for my daughter’s preschool classmates- they graduate to Kindergarten next month and have all been together for 2 full years now.  We intend to send them out with a bang!

What have you made with Office 365?

 

Dreaming of spring weather with flowers and color!

This post brought to you by Dollar General. All opinions are 100% mine.

Last week, my daughters and I stopped in at Dollar General to pick up some Lawn & Garden items.  Winter seemed to last forever here in Connecticut, and we needed some fun flowers and some color to give us a feel for spring.  As we shopped, we still had snow on the ground in shadier parts of the yard.  Snow.  In April.  Boo!

We found some really cute mini flags that are the right size for the lamp post area at the end of our walkway.  Score!  Little sister insisted on the one that said Garden, so here it is. She really loves birds, and with the little blue jay on this one, I knew she’d choose it.  I was right!dollar general flag and gnomes

I really let the girls have fun choosing some items from Dollar General for the yard. There were actually some great looking planters and a bird feeder I have my eye on that I’m going to head back over for.  Of course, today we have snow. This is why most of our gardening and planting doesn’t happen until May 15 or later. We LOVE being outside and it’s hard to wait but we got 2 inches of snow and ice overnight… not conducive to gardening in any way. why we don't garden in spring

 

After this snowy yuck is gone, we’ll be grabbing our half barrel planter and Flower Rocket to get a head start on the butterfly garden the kids and I have been wanting to add in the back yard. The kids were really excited about this and I am excited that we’ll have some vibrant color in the yard quickly.  I’m ready for the beauty of spring! dollar general butterfly garden

I haven’t looked at Dollar General before for Lawn and Garden products. I wasn’t really aware they had much. I’m anxious to go back, because we saw a few really pretty decorative items my mother in law would enjoy and some planters I want. We always seem to need a new hose sprayer or two through the summer… might as well buy them where we can spend smart!

Be sure to like Dollar General on Facebook and follow @DollarGeneral on Twitter!

What are your spring gardening plans? Have you shopped Dollar General for lawn and garden items?

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Red Barn Canvas launches new Children’s line of canvas wall art

Red Barn Canvas launches new Children’s line of canvas wall art.  This post announcing the new brand from Red Barn Canvas is brought to you by my friends Kristy and Andy, the awesome behind RBC.

pinnsqueak childrens canvas wall art logo
    Introducing PinnsQueak Boutique, A Red Barn Canvas Brand full of fun, coordinating Canvas Wall Art specifically designed to grow with your child.  Our designs are sweet enough for the baby nursery but modern, and personalized, enough to grow with them.  In keeping with the style and quality our customers have come to expect with Red Barn Canvas, we are now expanding our product line to include more Children’s Wall Art decor.
pinnsqueak canvas childrens wall art
    One of our biggest challenges in owning a home based business and working together full time has been keeping the kids occupied.  Ensuring they are busy with educational and creative activities is very important to us as a family.  Luckily we always have extra canvas, wood and paint on hand.  Our new canvas kits are put together with kids in mind.  They include everything they need to be creative, and they are packaged using fun touches and ready for gift giving.
pinnsqeak canvas childrens wall art
    Among our other new PinnsQueak products is a writeable canvas, made to coordinate with our very popular growth charts.  This design is great for baby showers or early birthdays – it gives guests a place to write special notes to the little one and new parents.  I have one hanging in my 3 year olds room as a fun way to record and keep all those fun things she says.
pinnsqueak childrens canvas wall art kits
With PinnsQueak we are also introducing several new canvas designs and they are all made to mix-n-match, and adding to our already existing line.  Our hope is by giving our kids collection its own identity it will make the shopping experience more enjoyable.  For instance, our new Letter/Name line is made to give our customers the creative control, they choose the font, color and pattern from our new PinnsQueak palettes.
You can shop PinnsQueak online here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/PinnsQueakBoutique

DIY St. Patrick’s Day Shamrock Garland

Decorating your home for St. Patrick’s Day doesn’t need to be pricey or time consuming. With a quick trip to your local dollar store, you can craft this St. Patrick’s Day Shamrock Garland, perfect for adding a little luck of the Irish to your home. It only takes a few minutes to make, and in no time you will have a frugal yet whimsical shamrock garland perfect for adding some St. Patrick’s Day flare. Take a peek below at how simple it can be to craft your own!

DIY Shamrock Garland

St. Patrick’s Day Shamrock Garland

Supplies needed:

  • Assorted foam clover cut outs
  • Ribbon
  • Hot glue, glue gun

We were able to find these foam clovers at our local Dollar Tree store. You can find them in various shades of green, sold in packs of 12 for $1 each. The ribbon, a red, blue, and green striped pattern, was also found at our local Dollar Tree store for just $1 per roll. Final cost for this project was a mere $2. Now that is a frugal and fun deal!

diy st patricks day banner garland

Directions:

  1. Begin by laying your ribbon flat on a table or floor. This will make it easier to apply your clovers.
  2. Add a dab of glue to the top/backside of each clover. Press it firmly to the ribbon, holding it in place for several seconds until it adheres well.
  3. Repeat this application process, spacing your clovers out 1-2 inches.
  4. You can create a banner as long or short as you wish. With 12 pieces per package, you can make a pretty lengthy banner if you wish!

Once your banner is dry, you can embellish any way you wish. Glitter, additional ribbon, or even lettering are all great choices. Display your banner from an entry way, on a mantel, or anywhere you can use some St. Patrick’s Day color.

Head to your local dollar store and give this fun and frugal craft a try!

Join in on the fun and get crafting! Share your projects or link up to the party below.


DIY Button Hair Clip for St. Patrick’s Day

This fun and easy DIY button hair clip craft would make a fun project to do with the girls.  It’s a great way to update an old or boring hair clip and will be a fun accessory for the hair on St. Patrick’s Day, or any holiday!

diy button hair clip

Supplies

  • hair clip
  • buttons in the colors of the rainbow
  • green ribbon
  • needle & thread
  • hot glue

supplies

 

I love picking up vintage buttons at tag sales and this is a great project to use a variety of really great buttons!  I’ve selected a button for each color of the rainbow – red, orange, yellow, green followed by blue, indigo, violet!  I found a great yellow button with a rhinestone center that doubles as my “pot of gold” for this project.

buttons

Begin by using hot glue to attach each button to your hair clip, starting with the last colors and overlap as you go.

attach buttons

 

Finishing with the red button (see the close up of my beautiful yellow button).

attach buttons 2

 

Next you’ll begin creating your ribbon shamrock.  Cut a length of ribbon approximately 1 1/2″ to 2″ long.  Fold the ribbon in half and gather the cut ends onto your needle & thread.  Pull the thread tight to bunch the ribbon together, creating a petal.  Continue with 2 more pieces for the 3 leaves of the shamrock.

shamrock

 

Attach the first and second leaves together, securing well.  Then attach the 3rd leaf to the first two.

shamrock 2  shamrock 3

Angle cut an additional piece of ribbon approximately 2″ long.  Using hot glue to secure, roll the ribbon to create a stem for the shamrock.

 

 

Hot glue the shamrock leaves and stem to the violet end of the clip.

attach shamrock 1
You can really make any kind of flower or ribbon decoration for the end of your hair clip to go with your colors, the event, holiday or season.
finished clip 2

Do you have a Thrilling Thursday craft to add? Add a link to your blog post in the linky below after you’ve left a comment on this post.