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Saturday, March 31

LORD, KEEP MY HEART


Tonight in our home meeting we enjoyed another sweet song to the Lord. It's actually the one I quoted in my wooden wall art. We had some Spanish-speaking friends visiting us and it was glorious singing and hearing this song in both languages! I thought I'd share it with you all to encourage you in your Christian walk. :)


Lord, keep my heart always true to You,
Never backsliding, always viewing You,
A heart that is pure that sees only You,
A heart that loves You and treasures only You.

Your love constrains me to give my all to You.
Lord, I can't help it; my heart is drawn to You.
Oh what a privilege! I give myself to You!
I love You, Lord, dearest Lord.
I love You! I just love You!


Lord, keep my love burning brightly for You,
A love never dwindling always hot for You,
A love, shining brighter all the way for You,
A love, so fresh like the day I first touched You.


Lord, take my life, I present it to You!
If I had a thousand, I'd pour all on You!
Nothing withholding, my all is for You.
My life and my future, dear Lord, is all for You.



Much grace,

Friday, March 30

FRIDAY TREATS

It's that time of the week again...yay for Friday! :) E learned hand motions to the song "You Are My Sunshine" and has been making me sing it to him all week. Even after the 50th time, I still can't get enough of him... I guess it's because I'm his mommy huh? It's crazy how much he picks up now and how much personality this little guy has. My husband and I are constantly amazed whenever we watch him. Sigh...where has my little baby gone???

I also wanted to take a minute and thank all my readers for your sweet comments this week! :D I'm so grateful that you took time to encourage me on DIYs that even I wasn't so sure about. You all are just awesome! :)

Here's another roundup of my favorites that I hope you all will enjoy. There's one that I'm especially excited about... when you get to it, you'll have to let me know what you think.




1) Nail polish colored keys: Easy way to color-code your keys.
2) Door jammer: Never worry again about waking up your kids when going in to
check on them!
3) Colored pencil jewelry: Creative way to use up old broken pencils.
4) Don't want to spend money on paint pens? Replace the top of your acrylic paint bottle with a glue bottle top and you're all set!
5) Coffee filter roses: Simply gorgeous! Great for wedding or shower centerpieces.
6) Fried marbles: This is by far THE COOLEST thing I came across this week! Bake marbles @ 325-350, immediately dump them in ice water and watch them crack on the inside! I cannot wait to try this!


Take care everyone and have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, March 28

DIY TEA STATION

My husband and I are both BIG tea drinkers. I make this tea latte (except with agave) for us every night after E goes to bed. Usually we keep our stash of teas in the pantry; however these days it's been getting too crowded in there and I wanted a more accessible place to keep all our teas. We had an empty spot on the counter a few feet away from the stove that I thought would be perfect for a small tea station. 

I had picked up this wooden shelf-looking thing from IKEA a few months ago for $2 in their clearance section. Originally my thought was to place it above our microwave to hold our fruits.  However it turned out to be a little too wide and looked awkward in that space. I kept it anyways... just in case an opportunity like this came up. ;)  


This project literally took me about 20 minutes from start to finish. There was no need to paint since the birch actually matched our kitchen cabinets.  I simply measured and cut out a section of the shelf-liner that I had leftover from my SNIGLAR changing table makeover and adhered it to the surface of the shelf.  I also used the liner to cover the outside of this KRUS container to help keep a more uniform look.  


Here's how it all turned out. What a simple way to give our beloved teas their very own home! It's now my new favorite spot in the kitchen. :D


Have any of you completed any simple DIYs lately that made a huge impact? I'd love to hear from you!

Have a fantastic Wednesday!



Tuesday, March 27

OVEN-BAKED PRETZEL CRUSTED CHICKEN

In our house we LOVE to use Panko breadcrumbs when breading our meat. However once in a while we like to switch it up and use pretzel crumbs.  With all the different varieties of pretzels out there now, it's an easy way to add tons of flavor, texture and even nutrition!  Plus it's great for using up those stale pretzels. ;) 



Ingredients

4 skinless and boneless chicken thighs (pounded thin)
1 egg (lightly beaten) + 2 T melted butter
2 C salted pretzels (coarsely grounded in a food processor)
1 C flour
Lawry's seasoned salt
freshly ground pepper
garlic powder

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Lightly sprinkle the pounded chicken thighs on both sides with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Let it sit for about 15 minutes.

Dredge the chicken in this order - flour, egg mixture and then pretzel crumbs. Place each piece on a rimmed baking sheet.  Bake on the middle rack for about 20-25 minutes or until cooked through.  

Slice the chicken and serve with either Tonkatsu sauce, honey mustard, bbq sauce or just ketchup! :)

Enjoy!

DIY COLOR BLOCKING JAR

By definition, color blocking is strategically placing and pairing contrasting colors together. Right now this trend is everywhere - from clothes to home decor.  I'm still not sure if I'm a huge fan of it, but recently I did see a great example of it being used in this project featured by Design*Sponge.


How cute right?! Although I didn't have any rope on hand, I did have a TON of twine that I got for free from IKEA and some leftover fabric from my bulletin board makeover.  Using the above project for inspiration, I decided to play around with my materials to see what I could make - with the help of my trusty glue gun! :D





 What do you think? Interesting... huh? ;) For now my little DIY sits in our kitchen and holds our pens and stuff.  


This actually turned out to be a lot of fun and got me thinking about color blocking another container to hold my keys (yes, I'm still needing one for my "changing table-turned-drop off station/workspace"). Although next time I would like to spread the colors around more instead of keeping it all in one section. Hmmm... will definitely update you all if I do!

Be back tomorrow with an easy and healthier alternative to the DELICIOUS fried chicken! :) Hope everyone's having a great start to their week! 

Sunday, March 25

{REMINISCING} YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK

It's been a while since the three of us took a trip anywhere. Our last big trip was to Jackson Hole, Wyoming when E was only three months old. Yellowstone National Park was simply breathtaking and definitely one of the most gorgeous places we have ever been. Every morning we would grab a coffee at Tully's before heading towards the park. It took us about an hour before we actually got in, but even the drive there was a sight to behold! Wide open spaces, clear blue skies, and majestic mountain landscapes surrounded us at every turn. About every 10 minutes the scenery would change... it was never a boring drive! Because we went in October we also got to catch the beautiful foliage.



The park itself was GINORMOUS and impossible to cover in one or two days. Luckily we had a whole week there though so we took our time to explore the area. We saw so many amazing things from huge herds of roaming buffaloes to majestic waterfalls. Here are a few of our favorite shots for your viewing pleasure! 


































Being out there was such a nice break away from the busy chaos of everyday life. We spent a week just relaxing and taking in all the beautiful scenery. Creation itself truly speaks and testifies of our wonderful God. :)

"For the invisible things of Him, both His eternal power and divine characteristics, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being perceived by the things made, so that they would be without excuse;" ~Rom. 1:20

We're thinking of maybe visiting Yosemite for our next trip. Has anyone been there before or have other recommendations? We'd love to hear from you!

Hope you all are enjoying your weekend! :)

Much grace,

Friday, March 23

FRIDAY TREATS

Happy Friday everyone!  "April showers" seem to have come early this year. It's been wet and cold the last few days here. Definitely looking forward to more sunshine and temperatures in the 80s! Without further ado, here's this week's roundup of some of my favorites! :)



A few more...
Zero Waste Home has some great tips for a "greener" lifestyle.
This sugar ants solution will come in handy during the summer.
Here's 10 ingredients to make from scratch.


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I also wanted to thank Michaela @ Michaela Noelle Designs for featuring my headboard yesterday!  Make sure to check out her blog for her other favorite readers' projects! 



Have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, March 22

{MINI-UPDATES} DIY PAINTED BOTTLES

{Please excuse the previous post. My clumsy fingers hit the "publish" button again before it was ready. Sorry!}

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As I had mentioned yesterday, we are bringing back the "blues" to our family room! It started with painting our cherry blossom canvases to transforming some old glass bottles/vases into these simple beauties. Kate @ Centsational Girl had also created similar vases this week if you'd like to check it out! 


For this project I already had some leftover blue latex paint (valspar misty interior in eggshell) that we used for our guest bedroom. I poured about a quarter to half a cup of paint into the bottles with about a T of water, stirred them together well with a long skewer, and then swirled the paint around the inside until the bottles were fully covered. 

Tip: If your bottle is too deep, mix the paint first before pouring it in.


Then I turned the bottles upside down on top of a paper towel-lined cookie sheet for about an hour to drain out the excess paint. 


And that's it! Really! :) Don't you just love quick DIYs?! Now they're sitting beautifully on top of our shelves next to our TV.  I'm loving the coastal touch it adds to the room!


There are still a few more things that I'd like to change/add, however I'm going to take it slow this time around. :) I will keep you all posted!

Wednesday, March 21

DOSE OF REALITY + {MINI-UPDATES} CANVASES

Yesterday I got my first dose of reality as a blogger.  For me this blog feels like my second baby and when you share something so personal to you with the rest of the world... be prepared for comments of all kinds - positive and some not so positive ones.

I was more than honored yesterday when Apartment Therapy featured my Sniglar makeover. Even though my makeover wasn't exactly a "home office," I was still absolutely THRILLED beyond words for the feature! :) Then I started reading some of the responses and my heart just sank.  There wasn't really that many comments nor were they exactly mean or rude... just natural responses I guess from the short synopsis Apartment Therapy provided.  I can understand where some of the confusion came from so I'm not really sure why they bothered me as much as they did.


It was a good lesson to learn though and kind of exposing to see how much I cared for others' good opinions. The Lord touched and shined on my heart a lot and I realized that His good opinion is what I should treasure most. :)

Okie doke, thanks so much for letting me ramble a little... now onto the mini-update! :)

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When we first moved into our house and started putting together our family room, we gravitated towards calm soothing colors like whites, grays, and blues. We eventually found our gray couches at West Elm, simple white curtains from Target, and an assortment of blue pillows from West Elm and Marshalls. I'm not sure if I picked the wrong shades but somehow the room ended up feeling dark and dreary.

In hopes of brightening up the room, I was inspired by Pinterest and other blogs to add some bright pops of yellow and so began my long chain of DIY projects. From making the cherry blossom canvases to reupholstering an ottoman that I found on Craigslist for $20, you’d think that I would be 100% satisfied with how the room turned out. Sadly I wasn't.


The room looked fine by itself but it didn't really fit in with the rest of the house. That shade of yellow and the design on the fabric seemed to clash with the rest of the decor. I should have planned better and considered our vision for our home as a whole instead of trying out random ideas and putting countless hours into these projects only to regret it later. DIY-er remorse is what I call it.

So last week, after being dissatisfied with the yellow canvases for the last 9 months, I finally decided to take a chance and change the color. Instead of making and paying for brand new canvases, I painted over the current ones with a light shade of blue. It's hard to tell due to the poor lighting (sorry!) but the canvases ended up looking so much better! It gave the whole room a completely different feel and motivated me to make more updates.


It's pretty amazing how a small color change could make such a big difference! Tomorrow I will be sharing with you another way I was able to incorporate this softer and lighter shade of blue into the room. Hope you stay tuned! :)

Much grace,

Tuesday, March 20

IKEA SNIGLAR CHANGING TABLE MAKEOVER

*Before you read on, please keep in mind that this is not my permanent desk... mainly just a space where I can do a quick 5 minute email check or a place to sit and relax at. :) And yes, I do realize that the table is higher than most tables. I plan to have the legs cut shorter or to get a higher chair in the future.

This past weekend my husband and I went to IKEA in search of a small storage shelf. I needed a space to hold the items that I would drop off when I came home (such as my keys and diaper bag). Our house lacks a mudroom or even an entry space so my diaper bag inevitably ended up taking a seat on our dining chair (our garage is connected to our informal dining room). My keys would end up on the dining table or in some other place I happen to leave it - which I would end up forgetting the next day. It was time to find a more permanent home to help lessen my frustration everyday.  

We considered getting a small Expedit shelf but the shelves weren't deep enough for my rather wide diaper bag. Then we saw a sofa table that would've worked a little better but we weren't fond of its $200 price tag.

We were ready to give up and head home when we came across the perfect storage solution in the children’s section. Long story short... we ended up coming home with the Sniglar's changing table for $30. My husband actually was the one who saw this and noticed that the two deep layers would work well. At first I thought he was joking and didn’t take it seriously.  However, the more I looked at it the more I liked the simplicity of it. The deep layers would definitely work and plus it would be a great DIY challenge! With some paint, cute shelf-liners, fabric storage containers, a shelf, and a few pieces of wood, I ended up transforming the changing table into a small workspace for our bedroom (complete with a spot for my diaper bag and keys)!

First I got the Sniglar ready for painting by I taping the areas that I needed to protect.

I then sanded down the wood to get a smooth clean surface.


I didn't have any primer on hand and so I had to skip this step. (For all you professional painters out there... pretend you didn't read that!)


I actually bought an alkyd (oil-based) paint by mistake and didn't realize it until I was halfway through painting. (A strong indication that I'm a complete novice in the painting department o.O) I found the paint to be a lot more sticky and streaky; it also took a whole day to dry. The worst part was the horrible stench it left - I'm convinced that my body's fully saturated with VOC by this point. Sigh. :(


Anyways! After the Sniglar was painted, I laid on a cute shelf-liner that I found at Marshall's months ago. At the time I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it - it was just too cute to pass up! Don't you agree?! ;)



To turn the top layer into a tabletop, I added an elevated surface that would be level with the edge around the changing table. I found an old shelf that my husband removed from our garage, took off the frames and laid the shelf-liner on top to match with the table.


To raise the surface high enough to lay level with the edge, I used two pieces of wood left over from my headboard project and wrapped them in a nonskid shelf-liner that I already had. I secured the liner onto the wood with a staple gun.  




There was no need to permanently attach the two pieces of wood to the shelf because the weight of the shelf and the nonskid liner were enough to keep the shelf from shifting.  


I added some fabric containers on the lower level that I already had and cut out the shelf-liner for the labels.  


The gap in the back held my small IKEA lamp and other accessories very nicely.  


Here's how it looks from the side. I think the elevated surface makes it extra cool! ;)  I will be keeping my keys in that spot next to the lamp - still need to find a cute shallow container for them! ;)



My diaper bag will go into one of these containers.  I'm thinking about putting my Ergo carrier in the other.  





When I finally brought in my chair to sit down, I noticed that the tabletop was slightly higher than normal.  I thought about getting the legs cut shorter eventually or maybe just getting a higher chair. Or... maybe just leaving it so it wouldn't encourage me to stay up too late at nights ;) The size of my chair wasn't exactly appropriate either... a stool may work better. But for now I am super happy with the transformation. What do you all think? :)










































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Also I wanted to thank Lindsay @ Southern Lovely for featuring my headboard project yesterday! Her blog is full of so many cute ideas so make sure to check it out!


Happy Tuesday!


Linking up with Kampen Lane...