Category Archives: in the home

A Funky Staircase

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One of my favorite features of our home is the two staircases.  I love that it has a front and back staircase – more modern homes just do not have them anymore.  When we moved in, almost our entire home was covered with old carpet.  When we pulled up the carpet there were several surprises- some good, some not so good.  For example, we discovered beautiful hardwood floors under the carpet in the living room and dining room.  However, under the carpet in the upstairs hallway we discovered this:

Believe it or not, the hallway still looks like this, but we’ll get to it… eventually.

My favorite under-the-carpet discovery was our back staircase.  Here’s Matt after pulling up the carpet:

Yes, the staircase resembles a rainbow.  I have been attempting to research the time period when this may have been painted, but I’m not having much luck.  I will keep researching it, however.  If anyone has any knowledge of staircase painting time periods, please share it with me!  Matt and I both decided we want to attempt to restore this staircase to its full multi-colored glory.

Here’s my progress so far:

After priming the staircase

The tops of the stairs were painted black

All painted!

I used sample sizes for the colored side of each stair.  There is still a lot of paint remaining as well for touch-ups throughout the years.  This staircase is off of the kitchen, and it makes for a great surprise!  Guests always comment on it!  So fun!

GOD BLESS!!

Magazine Christmas Trees

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As I’ve stated before, I love DIY projects for Christmas gifts.  In addition to gifts, I enjoy DIY projects for holiday decorating as well.  I’ve been meaning to fill you in on one of my favorite DIY Christmas projects for a while, and I’ve finally had time to do so!  This project is SUPER easy and the Christmas trees look great!  I have about 7 of them throughout my house.  The best part?  They’re made from magazines.  Whether you use thick magazines (think “O” magazine), or catalogs you get in the mail, these Christmas trees make for fun, funky holiday decor!

Step 1: Break the spine of the magazine.  You want it to be flexible.

Step 2: With the magazine facing you, fold the page from the top right corner.  Begin by folding the front cover.  

Continuing folding each page until the entire magazine is folded 

Step 3: Beginning with the lower right point of the triangle you’ve created, fold each page of the magazine a second time.  The pages will look diamond-shaped.  

This is how the magazine will look after step 3:

It will be fairly thick

Step 4: There will be a small triangle at the bottom.  Fold the triangle and tuck it into the folded paper above.  This will transform your diamond into a triangle.   

This is how your magazine will look after step 4:

TA-DAH! Your magazine Christmas tree is complete!  While no tape is necessary, I tape the front cover and the back cover (not to each other, separately).  They tend to want to come undone because of the thickness of the cover paper.  From here you can leave your tree as is, or you can decorate it accordingly.  Here are some trees from my house decorated in various ways.  The possibilities are truly endless!

This tree was sprayed with adhesive, then sprinkled with glitter

The front 2 trees were spray painted with different metal tones

As a centerpiece for a gathering

I hope this has been helpful to you.  I have enjoyed making these Christmas trees for years and they are always a fun conversation piece.  These also store fairly well, so at the end of the season you can just fold them down and put them away until next year!

GOD BLESS!!

Lemon Body Scrub

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I am all about homemade presents, especially for Christmas!  We put too much emphasis on material gifts this time of year, and lose focus on the true reason for the season.  Therefore, I try to create homemade gifts as much as possible.  In turn, homemade gifts are always my favorite to receive.  For all you busy ladies, I know this may not be a possibility, but trust me when I tell you this lemon body scrub will take 5 minutes of your time.  And the best part is you probably have the THREE (yes, 3) ingredients necessary to make this scrub in your kitchen right now!

I know scents this time of year focus on cinnamon, peppermint, chocolate, etc. but I’m going to change it up and throw lemon into the mix!  Lemon has a great ability to lift your mood and energize you.  I hope this scrub gives you that extra boost of energy you need!

Here are the ingredients you will need:

2 lemons
1.5 cups cane sugar
3/4 cups olive oil

Directions:

Step 1: Put entire amount of cane sugar in medium-sized bowl

This is the cane sugar I use

Step 2: Slowly pour olive oil over cane sugar.  Fold olive oil into cane sugar.  Do not pour entire amount of olive oil into cane sugar at one time, as you want to keep the sugar separated from the olive oil.  The consistency should be a thick paste.

It will look like this:

Step 3:  Zest your lemons.  Sprinkle zest over the olive oil and cane sugar mixture, fold together.

lemon zest!

Step 4: Pour juice from 2 lemons over mixture.  Mix together.  The final product will look like this:

Transfer your mixture into an air-tight container.  Feel free to decorate and gift!

I got this container from Ikea a while ago, but haven’t found a use for it yet- until now!  This body scrub is just perfect for this jar!  How cute would that look in your bathtub?!

GOD BLESS!

Some Updates…

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I don’t know about you, but this time of year for me is BUSY BUSY BUSY!  In the midst of the chaos, I want to take some time to share some updates with you.

Matt and I hosted our first Christmas party over the weekend and it was a BLAST!  In fact, I was too busy having fun to take any pictures.  I’m bummed I don’t have any photographic proof of the great time we had, but you’ll have to take my word for it!  Following the Christmas party on Saturday, we went  to the Detroit Lions game on Sunday.  Tickets to the game were Matt’s anniversary present from me.  The first year anniversary “theme” is paper, so tickets seemed very fitting for my sports fanatic!

Here we are in the parking lot  of Ford Field enjoying some mimosas and bloody mary’s!

Here is our view of the field from our seats

I’ve also been doing some more decorating with our guest bedroom.  Here are some pictures of my progress.

It’s still not completely done, but it’s definitely getting there!  This bedroom definitely has a cozy, vintage feel.  The headboard is an antique store find.  As you can see, it’s an old window.  I then had Matt hang it above the bed and VOILA!  A beautiful, vintage headboard!

 In some other good news, I just found out yesterday that I’m going to be an Aunt AGAIN!!! Love to Kayla and Adam and your new bundle of joy!

GOD BLESS!

Guest Bedroom (part 2)

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Hello all!  Since we’ve talked last, I’ve finished my painting project.  I hope you enjoy it!  As you can see, the paint is the only thing completed, but I will be sure to keep you updated (again) when the room is complete!

one wall done!

all done!

 

So now that you’ve seen the painted bedroom, I want to show you a new decorative piece I’m playing with.  My inspiration is to bring some natural elements to the interior of our home.  So… here it is!

 I shouldn’t even call it a decorative piece, seeing as how I literally cut it off one of our trees in the backyard, then spray painted it silver.  The wall the branch is hung on is still white, so it may be difficult to visualize the finished product.  I’m thinking I would like to paint this accent wall a burnt orange, like this:

Can you picture it? 

Coming up soon- our funky staircase! I can’t wait for you to see it!

What house projects are you working on?

Autumn Baking

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As I’ve said previously, I LOVE to bake.  When the leaves start changing, I get even more excited about baking.  Let’s face it, the best goodies are the ones we associate with these cooler months.  Yes, I am partially to blame for the expanding waistlines of my co-workers, friends, and family.  Baking is something I usually do for other people, and that’s probably the reason I love it.  I find it so fulfilling to spend time with people as they enjoy my creations.  I really like trying new recipes as well.  If you have favorites, please send them my way!  Here is one recipe I’ve recently tried and it was a hit!

No- Bake Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup of finely crushed graham crackers
  • 2 tablespoons of butter, melted
  • 8 ounce package of reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup of sugar or sugar substitute* equivalent to 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup of fat-free milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely shredded orange peel
  • 8 ounce packages of fat-free cream cheese
  • 15 ounce can of pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • envelope of unflavored gelatin
  • 1/4 cup orange juice

Directions:

1.  For crust, in a medium bowl, stir together crushed graham crackers and melted butter until crackers are moistened. Press mixture onto bottom of an 8-inch springform pan. Cover and chill while preparing filling.

melting butter

I like to double the graham cracker crust recipe for a nice, thick crust

2.  For filling, in a food processor or blender, combine the reduced-fat cream cheese, 1/4 cup of the sugar, 1/4 cup of the milk, the vanilla, and orange peel. Cover and process or blend until smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl; set aside.3.  In a food processor or blender, combine fat-free cream cheese, pumpkin, remaining 1/4 cup sugar, remaining 1/4 cup milk, and the pumpkin pie spice. Cover and process or blend until smooth.

I would advise putting half the recommended amount of orange zest, or leaving it out completely. The zest can overpower the pumpkin.

4.  In a small saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over orange juice; let stand for 5 minutes. Cook and stir over low heat until gelatin is dissolved. Stir 1 tablespoon of the gelatin mixture into the white cream cheese mixture and the remaining gelatin mixture into the pumpkin mixture.

5. Pour pumpkin mixture over chilled crust in pan. Carefully pour white cream cheese mixture over pumpkin mixture. Using a narrow, thin-bladed metal spatula or a table knife, swirl pumpkin and white mixtures.

pumpkin mixture goes first!

White cream cheese mixture next

6.  Cover and chill overnight before serving. To serve, using a small sharp knife, loosen cheesecake from side of springform pan; remove side of pan. Cut into wedges.
Makes 12 servings.

Final product! Enjoy!

I hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as I have!  I pray you all have the opportunity to engage in an activity you truly enjoy.
God bless!

Fixer-Upper

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A little over a year ago, my husband and I bought our first home.  It was an amazing adventure for us and a huge step into adulthood.  As my home is a huge part of my life, I would like to share this labor of love with you!  Our home is in a historic district.  It’s 125 years old.  I love it.  But it needs a lot of work.  Thank God my husband is handy!

This is our home!  It’s a duplex, so we live in the right side, and we rent the left side.

I’ll never forget the day we signed the stacks of paperwork to own our home.  Afterward we had pizza and champagne on the floor of our living room.

Our first time spending time in OUR home (Zoe’s in the background hoping for leftovers)

The back staircase... before paint

The back staircase after!

The office (before)

The office after!

 Upstairs hallway
Well, that’s all for now!  I will continue to update you on all of our projects.  My currently project is working to return our staircase back to it’s original (funky) form- I can’t wait to reveal it to you!  Stay tuned!
God bless!