I had this past Friday off work and decided to use the day to tackle some holiday baking. I always like to make something yummy and pretty to give to friends and co-workers during the holidays. This year, I decided to stick with a classic but try some new flavor combinations. Enter delish chocolate-covered pretzels:
I laid all the pretzels out on a cookie sheet so I could sort out all the broken ones. Then I got all my toppings prepared. I used mini M&Ms, crushed candy cane pieces, crushed oreos, and some holiday sprinkles. Next, I melted down the different chocolates, white chocolate and milk chocolate. I dipped each pretzel, covered with topping, and laid them on wax paper to set. Here are the different combinations I came up with:
2. White Chocolate with Holiday Sprinkles
4. White Chocolate with Crushed Candy Canes
The great thing about this dessert, is that it stores well in the freezer. So I popped these all into gallon size freezer bags and they will be ready for the holidays.
Of course, no baking can be done without a trusty assistant and mine was full of smiles:
Have you started your holiday baking yet? Do you have any easy desserts you bake each year?
When I found out I was pregnant I couldn’t wait to start thinking of ideas for decorating the future nursery. When I found out I was having a girl I was even more excited since I would be able to use my favorite color – Pink! When I was registering for our baby shower, I was not impressed with the different options for bedding – everything was too busy or had characters on it which I was trying to avoid. I was pleasantly surprised when I checked out the different options that Land of Nod had. I immediately fell in love with the Hop to it bedding. And thus began the bunny nursery!
I loved the little bunnies and the gray and pink combination. Nick and I had fun painting stripes on two of the walls – something new for both of us! And Nick made all of the shelves from old wood trim. We went to a thrift store and bought all the different frames to spell her name and spray painted them all pink. I used my Cricut to cut out all the letters from gray cardstock – the whole project was under $10!
Nick actually built the closet into the nursery (we took the existing closet and dry-walled it shut so we could have access to it from our bedroom to have double closets). The changing table/dresser was actually left in our house by the previous owner so we painted it the same gray color as the stripes on the wall. I like the storage the dresser provides rather than some of the other changing tables I saw.
While her glider looks brown in the picture above, it is actually a darker gray. The side table was also wood that we painted gray. The armoire was a $20 garage sale find two years ago. We gave it a fresh coat of white paint and painted the knobs gray and it provides awesome storage!
So that is Ashley’s nursery. We love it and she seems to like it too! I am already thinking about some of the changes we can make when she gets a big girl bed. What is the theme or colors of your nursery? Did you have a plan in mind from the start?
We are slowly working on creating a photo wall in our hallway and I recently felt inspired to try building one in the stairway leading down to our basement. Photo walls that look like this make me sad:
Here are some looks I really love:
In my opinion, Young House Love can do no wrong when it comes to decorating and I love the mix of different memories that they highlight on their frame wall.
I really like the clean look of this photo wall and think it would be great in a dining room or a home office.
Here is a look at our current hallway frame wall, where we tried to hide our thermostat in the mix of frames.
These frames were given to me as a shower gift by my best friend and maid of honor and we just love them!
Do you have a frame wall in your house? Where is it located? Did you slowly add to it or gather everything and then display it?
I have been looking for inspiration for my next baking project and I think the time has come to try to improve my decorating skills. Here are some of the cupcakes that caught my eye while searching:
Here are where you can find the recipes and details on all the sweet cupcakes above:
1. Chalk & Talk
2. We Heart It
4. Cake Journal
Have you tried any similar cupcake decorations before? Do these looks intimidate you like they do me? 😉
If your home is anything like ours, a 3 bedroom ranch, chances are you have a small bathroom. I am always looking for new ways to create storage without cluttering the space. Here are some storage solutions that won’t affect your space:
Do you have a small bathroom like us? What have you done to create more storage?
What a difference mosaic tile makes! Check out the latest transformation in the Grove Pointe kitchen:
Our mission began with a trip to Home Depot to scope out our tile options. I brought an extra tile from the first portion of the backsplash that we completed last week, and a sample of our new Formica that is on the counters.
We had planned on spending around 10 dollars per tile and needed 14 to complete the area above and around our sink. We started to look at the different choices, and Nick (per usual) spotted a deal!
At $4.99 a tile, Majestic Ocean was our choice! And it helped us save half our budget! Nick grabbed the tiles and we were quick to check out and head home to get started.
We were able to use the same grout we used on the other portion of the backsplash so we got to it and started sticking up the new tiles.
Goodbye gross brown uncovered walls and hello pretty new tile! The sink was in the perfect spot to hold the grout.
Nick finished putting up the rest of the tiles and then stood back to bask in the new look!
Then we used trim like we used in our bedroom makeover to trim out the rest of the edges surrounding the cabinets. We still need to caulk the trim but I think it looks great and is such an improvement from before!
Here you can see the trim under the cabinets by the other backsplash. I am so happy with the progress we have been making in the kitchen and even happier that it hasn’t cost us a fortune!
Next kitchen project will be removing the linoleum floor and putting in a new tile floor. Any projects taking place in your kitchen currently?
I have been thinking about how we will decorate our home office after we decide on a paint color and I have really been interested in fabric wall art. I really loved what Kristy at bliss. did with her latest fabric project and it got me to research some options.
Here are some inspiring looks:
All of these looks used different ways to layer new fabrics and patterns into many spaces. Have you ever tried fabric wall art? Is there a spot in your home where this would work well?
(Now I need to start the hunt for a perfect nautical fabric for our office!)
It’s time for part two of the Grove Pointe kitchen revamp:
After the Formica counter tops were complete, the next step was going to be our tile backsplash. We only did the tile down one side of the counter as we plan to use “fancy” mosaic tile above and around the sink.
1. Nick cut and had all the tile ready for when I would be home from work so we were ready to roll.
2. We had the thin set ready to start sticking up the tiles. Nick was the spreader and I was the tile sticker. 😉
3. And then we were off and running with the tiles!
4. After we had all the tiles up, we waiting 24 hours for them to set.
5. The next day after work Nick was ready to grout away.
6. He did a great job (but it was messy!)!
7. I would definitely suggest a large bucket with warm water and a sponge to move along with you as you need to clean up the excess grout.
8. The most difficult part of the project was cutting the tiles to fit around the outlet – but we did it!
Here is the finished product:
Now we will need to make several trips to Home Depot to find and decide on a mosaic tile for the area above and around the sink. Can’t wait to see how it turns out!
What projects did you work on over the weekend?
It’s time for this week’s…
Given all the DIY projects we are currently working on and have planned, I thought it would be fun to ask you about your projects and how you budget yourself.
1. Do you stick to a budget when you are working on a project?
For us, the answer is definitely yes! Nick does a great job at pricing things out so we know when we can afford to start something new.
2. If you answered yes to question one, what do you do to make sure you stay on track with spending?
We keep a spreadsheet/wish list of the different projects we want to tackle. Nick figures out how much each would cost and we also have them listed in order of priority. When we have extra spending money, we look to our list and see what’s next!
3. Have you ever gone over your planned budget on a project?
I would be lying if I said we never went over budget, but usually we are pretty darn close. Usually, we end up spending more if there was something we forgot, or if we run out of supplies.
4. What DIY project are you most proud of in your home?
For me, I would say that one of my favorites is the basement of our house. Nick finished our basement (it was gutted when we moved in!) and it really looks great after all the work we’ve done.
5. What is the best part about budgeting for your DIY projects?
I think that it can be fun to set a budget and try to stay at or below the set cost. It is a cool challenge and nice to see all that we are able to do ourselves without hiring help.
I am looking forward to seeing your answers!
After 17 months in our house, it is finally time to make some changes to the super dated Grove Pointe kitchen. First on the list: new counters! We are definitely on a budget with this revamp so we opted for Formica, but I am really pleased with the results.
Here’s the DIY breakdown:
1. take down old Formica “backsplash”
2. remove scary “glass bottle bottom” feature from above sink
3. start sanding the the old counters so the adhesive will stick
4. clear out all the cleaning supplies from under the sink and all the appliances off of the counter
5. start laying out the new Formica and measuring the sizes needed
6. double check all measurements
7. start rolling the adhesive onto the backs of the new pieces of Formica and on the old counters
8. make yourself comfortable and rest your water on the new Formica 😉
9. bring in the newly covered counter tops
Enjoy the new Formica counter tops!
Next on the list – new tile back splash! 🙂
What kind of counter tops do you currently have in your kitchen?